Australian scientists roll out hydroxychloroquine trial
Australian scientists are backing a controversial anti-malaria drug trial that is being administered to health workers across Victoria and New South Wales. Scientists at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute are trialling hydroxychloroquine as a possible method of curbing the spread of the coronavirus.
The use of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for the virus faced fierce backlash around the world and was subsequently banned in multiple countries, including France, Italy and the United States.
Global concerns over the drug mounted following a decision by the World Health Organisation to halt trialing the drug due to safety concerns.
US President Donald Trump praised the drug for its effectiveness, announcing in May he took it over a two-week period.
Note: The trial will need to be done in conjunction with zinc and not overdosing the particpates in the trial.
The Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) for Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine sulfate, Zentiva) recommends that the dose should not exceed 6.5 mg/kg/day and will be either 200 or 400 mg/day. The adult dosage regimen in the RECOVERY trial is 2400 mg in the first 24 hours followed by 400 mg 12-hourly for 10 days or until discharge from hospital, which could be longer. In 45 registered trials of hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 for which enough information is given for calculations to be made, the average daily dose over the period of treatment is over 400 mg and in some as high as 1200 mg/day.