Zinc-hydroxychloroquine found effective in some Covid-19 patients study

The antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine has shown mixed results against the coronavirus in early studies, but a new paper out of New York suggests combining it with the dietary supplement zinc sulfate could create a more effective treatment, SIA reports quoting AFP.

The research by the NYU Grossman School of Medicine was posted on a medical preprint site on Monday, meaning it hasn't yet been peer-reviewed. Records of about 900 Covid-19 patients were reviewed in the analysis, with roughly half given zinc sulfate along with hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic azithromycin. The other half only received hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin.

Those receiving the triple-drug combination had a 1.5 times greater likelihood of recovering enough to be discharged, and were 44 percent less likely to die, compared to the double-drug combination. Hydroxychloroquine has been proposed as a treatment against the SARS-CoV-2 virus because it has antiviral properties that have been proven in lab settings, but not in people.

It interferes with the virus' ability to enter the cells, and also seems to block them from replicating once they are already inside. Zinc itself has antiviral properties and past research has suggested it may reduce the time people suffer from common colds.

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