Don’t use antimalarial to treat coronavirus, Belgian officials say
Wednesday, 27 May 2020
Sciensano, the Scientific Institute of Public Health, now strongly advises against hydroxychloroquine in treating the new coronavirus, according to its treatment guidelines updated Tuesday.
Sciensano now only recommends the drug in the context of ongoing clinical trials, after having re-evaluated its risks and benefits.
The advice is based on a study of 96,000 patients, which did not show any benefit from hydroxychloroquine. The study, published in medical journal The Lancet last Friday, shows that the drug can even cause some harmful effects.
The Federal Agency for Medicines (FAMHP) has recorded eight cases of adverse reactions in Belgium potentially associated with hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of the new coronavirus (Covid-19), Sciensano said.
The publication of the study in the British medical journal had already prompted the World Health Organisation (WHO) to suspend its clinical trials with hydroxychloroquine in several countries.
Sciensano continues to analyse the data related to the treatment of Covid-19 collected in Belgian hospitals since the start of the epidemic, focusing on the impact of hydroxychloroquine.