Testing of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a attainable therapy for coronavirus has been halted due to security fears, the World Well being Group (WHO) says.
Trials in a number of international locations are being “briefly” suspended as a precaution, the company mentioned on Monday.
It comes after a current medical examine steered the drug might improve the chance of sufferers dying from Covid-19.
President Donald Trump has mentioned he’s taking the drug to thrust back the virus.
The US president has repeatedly promoted the anti-malarial drug, in opposition to medical recommendation and regardless of warnings from public well being officers that it might trigger coronary heart issues.
Final week, a examine in medical journal The Lancet mentioned there have been no advantages to treating coronavirus sufferers with hydroxychloroquine, and that taking it would even improve the variety of deaths amongst these in hospital with the illness.
Hydroxychloroquine is secure for malaria, and circumstances like lupus or arthritis, however no medical trials have really helpful its use for treating Covid-19.
The WHO, which is working medical trials of varied medication to evaluate which is likely to be useful in treating the illness, has beforehand raised issues over reviews of people self-medicating and inflicting themselves critical hurt.
On Monday, officers on the UN well being company mentioned hydroxychloroquine can be faraway from these trials pending a security evaluation.
The Lancet examine concerned 96,000 coronavirus sufferers, almost 15,000 of whom got hydroxychloroquine – or a associated kind chloroquine – both alone or with an antibiotic.
The examine discovered that the sufferers had been extra more likely to die in hospital and develop coronary heart rhythm problems than different Covid sufferers in a comparability group.
The loss of life charges of the handled teams had been: hydroxychloroquine 18%; chloroquine 16.4%; management group 9%. These handled with hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine together with antibiotics had a fair increased loss of life charge.
The researchers warned that hydroxychloroquine shouldn’t be used exterior of medical trials.