New studies clarify what drugs help, hurt for COVID-19 - (ABC News via NewsPoints Desk)

  • UK researchers on Friday published their research on dexamethasone, the only drug so far shown to improve survival in COVID-19, while other studies found that hydroxychloroquine does not help people with only mild symptoms, as reported by ABC News.

  • "For the field to move forward and for patients' outcomes to improve, there will need to be fewer small or inconclusive studies," and more like the UK one, Anthony Fauci and H. Clifford Lane of the US National Institutes of Health wrote in the NEJM.

  • The UK study, led by the University of Oxford, found that dexamethasone reduced deaths by 36% for patients sick enough to need breathing machines, and also curbed the risk of death by 18% for patients needing just supplemental oxygen.

  • The same Oxford study also tested hydroxychloroquine and researchers previously said it did not help hospitalized patients with COVID-19.

  • Now, details published on a research site for scientists show that patients given hydroxychloroquine were less likely to leave the hospital alive within 28 days, at 60% for those on the drug versus 63% given usual care. Those not needing breathing machines when they started treatment also were more likely to end up on one or to die.

  • Two other experiments found that early treatment with the drug did not help outpatients with mild COVID-19.

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