A study testing high doses of chloroquine, a malaria drug hyped as a potential treatment for the new coronavirus, has been stopped early after 11 patients died. The outcome came only days after a hospital in France had stopped an experimental treatment using hydroxychloroquine, a similar drug, earlier than intended, citing a “major risk” of heart damage. Both developments represent damaging blows to the pharmaceutical investment industry, which is seeking to benefit financially from the pandemic.
Carried out by researchers in Brazil at a hospital in the city of Manaus, the chloroquine study involved a total of 81 coronavirus patients divided into two groups. One group of patients were given high doses of the drug, while the other were given lower doses. The high-dose group received a total of 12 grams of chloroquine over a period of ten days. The lower-dose group received 2.7 grams over five days. Both groups of patients also received antibiotics, with the majority additionally being given oseltamivir (Tamiflu), a so-called ‘antiviral’ drug.
After 11 patients had died across both dosage groups, the researchers stopped the high-dose part of the trial citing heart rhythm problems and “a trend toward higher lethality”. In patients taking the higher doses, irregular heartbeats had become noticeable after just three days.
The group of patients receiving higher doses of chloroquine saw 7 deaths. There were 4 deaths among patients receiving the lower doses. All 11 deaths occurred by the sixth day of treatment. Tellingly, however, instead of stopping the study altogether, the researchers merely terminated the high-dose part of it and moved the surviving patients across to the low-dose group.
Even prior to this study, chloroquine was already well-known to cause dangerous side effects. Patients taking the drug have been shown to be at risk of suffering blood in the urine or stools, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, mental health problems, breathing difficulties, vomiting, jaundice, and numerous other complications. While hydroxychloroquine is often claimed to be safer than chloroquine, it too can cause serious side effects including allergic reactions, liver problems, low blood sugar, seizures, and heart problems.
Despite both drugs being potentially deadly, they have been widely hyped as potential treatments for coronavirus infection. This hyping of drugs despite their dangers and ineffectiveness continues a pattern that the pharmaceutical industry established more than a century ago. Instead of seeking to prevent and eliminate diseases, drug companies know they can only profit from them so long as health problems continue to exist. In this respect it is no coincidence that the only infectious disease that has ever been eradicated in humans is smallpox. Just as with noncommunicable chronic diseases, infectious diseases are seen by drug companies as valuable sources of revenue.
Towards preventing viral infections, the most important measure that anyone can take is to strengthen his or her own immune system. Significantly, however, there is no pharmaceutical drug ever invented that can achieve this. So-called ‘antiviral drugs’ – often touted as ‘lifesaving’ – are particularly damaging to the bone marrow, from where the body’s main immune cells are produced. Long-term, the effect of these toxic drugs on the body can be devastating.
With information on the scientifically proven benefits of micronutrients in supporting the immune system continuing to be absent from public health recommendations, it is more important than ever that we share natural health education on viral infections as widely as possible. The pharmaceutical investment industry isn’t interested in promoting optimum health, only in benefitting financially from the existence of diseases. The deadly outcome of the high-dose chloroquine study is a reminder that trusting drug companies with your health remains as dangerous today as it ever was.