Source: ABC6


PLAIN CITY, Ohio — The anti-malaria medication, hydroxychloroquine, is under the microscope in a clinical trial after making national headlines.

Damea Alexander decided to give hydroxychloroquine a try after he got sick last month.

“I didn’t think this was the regular flu that goes around,” said Alexander.

It was March 17 when Alexander, a husband and father of four, started to not feel well.

He said he had mild symptoms at first that progressively got worse.

“The night sweats were just horrible. I could just feel water dripping off of me like nothing I ever had before,” said Alexander.

Alexander has mild asthma and he struggled under COVID-19’s grip to catch his breath even when walking through his house.

“It really affected my lungs. I had some pretty severe asthma attacks during this,” said Alexander.

His doctor is Plain City family physician, Steven Tornik.

Dr. Tornik treated ten COVID-19 patients in this pandemic, mostly medical professionals.

“We’ve had some in their late 20’s, 30’s to some elderly patients,” said Dr. Tornik.

Dr. Tornik prescribed hydroxychloroquine combined with azithromycin to half of those patients.

“Some we treated at 48 hours, some we treated at two weeks,” said Dr. Tornik.

He said the results surprised him.

“About 70 percent to 80 percent improvement in 24 hours and then gradual improvement over the next few days,” said Dr. Tornik.

Alexander was his first patient to try it after a long conversation.

“I wanted to give it a shot number one because we had nothing else we could do and he was not doing well so he wanted in a way to be a guinea pig,” said Dr. Tornik.

6 On Your Side asked Alexander if he was nervous.

“Definitely, yeah, I mean whenever you try a new medication whenever you take a new medication we all know that medications come with risks but they also come with benefits as well,” said Alexander.

Alexander’s confidence comes from his 25 years as a nurse.

Right now, he does clinical research on drugs and their effects.

He had been reading up on hydroxychloroquine before he got sick.

“That definitely helped. It may have given me an edge on the layperson that might not have that background but even if I didn’t, I trusted my doctor,” said Alexander.

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