Recently authorized by the federal government for critically ill patients with the new coronavirus, hydroxychloroquine continues to be the subject of debates in the field of medicine. In a live teleconference on Youtube, this Sunday (5th), doctors Paolo Zanotto, virologist from USP (University of São Paulo), and Pedro Batista Júnior, general director of Prevent Senior, defended the use of medication also for elderly people in initial treatment phase.
According to them, the application of medication in elderly patients early in the process is more effective than its use when the case becomes severe, as the lung would already be compromised by the infectious process.
“The best result is in the initial phase of the disease. Unfortunately these patients [who died] took hydroxychloroquine, but started at an advanced stage. The start of the dose of each medication you make for a patient is fundamental for the success of the therapy”, he said the director of Prevent Senior, a health plan that manages hospitals that have treated elderly people with covid-19.
Zanotto argued that hydroxychloroquine “is a drug that not only has a precedent for antiviral activity but also has a long history of using that drug in the anti-malarial context”.
There is already a confirmed clinical study to evaluate the use of chloroquine also for patients with mild symptoms of the new coronavirus. The research CloroCOVID19, carried out by Fiocruz Amazônia (Instituto Leônidas and Maria Deane), in partnership with professionals from Incor (Instituto do Coração de São Paulo), will test people aged between 18 and 80 years who do not present contraindications to this medication. The forecast, according to Fiocruz, is that in the second week of April the preliminary results will be released.
In a note, SBI refers to the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat covid-19 as an experimental rescue therapy. The use, according to the statement, “must be individualized and evaluated by the prescribing physician, preferably with the participation of an infectologist, evaluating its possible side effects and possible benefits”.