The group of doctors from Kansas City reported that a combination of two drugs is being employed for the treatment of coronavirus infection. Hydroxychloroquine (HC) and azithromycin (AZ) are the drugs used .
The doctors further added that there is enough and more evidence to support the efficacy of the drugs, especially of hydroxychloroquine in the Covid-19 treatment such as in vitro or test tube studies and field-based clinical studies.
The two drugs are used in the treatment of ailments like malaria, lupus and other illnesses .
An in vitro study conducted by physicians from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognised chloroquine, which is a relative of hydroxychloroquine, to be an effective option for prevention and treatment for the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak years ago.
In 2002, China reported cases of SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) (which was later identified in 2003), which is thought to be an animal virus possibly developed from bats, that spread to other animals (civet cats) and first infected humans in the Guangdong province of southern China in 2002 .
An epidemic of SARS affected 26 countries and resulted in more than 8000 cases in 2003 and although there are no vaccines specifically developed for the infection, the possible action of the drug was understood through in-vitro testing.
"The foundation of all infectious medicine lies in in-vitro laboratory testing and patient trials," says Dr Jeff Colyer - one of the researchers working towards the development of an effective vaccine or treatment for the Covid-19. "Covid-19 is no exception. Current laboratory data suggest that HC should work," adds the researcher .
One of the drugs, azithromycin is a popular antibiotic and is combined with hydroxychloroquine. The idea of combining the two drugs, where one (HC) had shown positive results in the past and the other (AZ), an antibiotic was put forth when only limited data was made ready with the use of HC alone.
"The French study showed that 57% of 14 Covid-19 patients receiving HC without AZ tested negative for the virus on a nasal swab on day six. But 100% of the six patients who received both HC and AZ tested negative on day six" .
The two drugs have been employed for several years in the field of medicine and the combination is, however, a new development. "For now, it isn't well understood why the mix is so effective," the researcher adds.
The researchers talked about the potential side effects of the drugs used in the new combination and asserted that long-term HC usage can lead to eye problems and in some cases, arrhythmia .
"Increased electrocardiogram tracking may be appropriate for patients at risk of the latter effect. Potential mental-health effects should be closely observed." But be noted that all drugs have side effects and the ones of HC are comparatively less risky.
"Yet this is a historic pandemic, and treatment with HC and AZ shows considerable promise. That is a reason to increase supplies quickly," adds the researcher.
The world is together in the fight against the global pandemic of coronavirus or covid-19, which has more than 382,750 coronavirus cases with 16,578 deaths. With hundreds of medical agencies and health experts crucially working on the case to develop an effective vaccine or medicine, the recent report comes out a huge sigh of relief to the world.
On 30 March 2020, reports read that a possible drug combination developed by physicians in Kansas City could emerge as a key breakthrough.