WHO continues hydroxychloroquine trials after evaluating safety

The World Health Organization is resuming its international trial analyzing the effectiveness of malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in treating COVID-19, according to a June 3 news conference held at WHO headquarters in Geneva.

The trial was temporarily suspended May 25 because of safety concerns stemming from a study that stated COVID-19 patients given hydroxychloroquine experienced a higher risk of death, which is now being reevaluated.

Hydroxychloroquine, which physicians also prescribe to treat rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, can cause serious side effects, such as muscle weakness and heart arrhythmia. Multiple trials are being conducted to investigate the drug's ability to fight off COVID-19, but it is not a proven treatment for the disease.

The WHO's safety board will carefully monitor the trial, which involves more than 3,500 patients in 35 countries.

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