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New York Starts New Experimental Drug Therapies to Treat COVID-19: Here’s What We Know
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Neither of the numbers above gives you the correct answer because the answer also depends on the prior probability that the patient has the disease. Say the disease occurs in 1 out of 10, people in the population. That could be your prior.
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Or if you know of risk factors specific to this patient, you could include them in your prior. In this case, if your prior is 1 in 10,, the posterior is a mere 0.
But if you perform a second independent test with similar sensitivity and error rate, the previous posterior becomes your new prior, and your new posterior is 0. A third independent test pushes it up to 0. But the prior probability of your hypothesis may be so low that even the posterior probability is more unlikely than that of the null hypothesis.
The preprint paper describing an experiment by Raoult and his colleagues, about the efficacy of a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, does not have a randomised control group.
Are Hydroxychloroquine, Azithromycin ‘Game Changers’ in Fight Against COVID-19?
Their sample size was also small: 24 people received hydroxychloroquine HCQ only, six received hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, and 16 received no treatment. What does this mean? We must interpret these results with great caution, but not by rejecting them entirely. Self-medication can be very dangerous: overdosing on these drugs can cause deafness, seizures, retinopathy or even kill.
And this Trump-fuelled craze is precipitating a shortage of these drugs among those who legitimately, and desperately, need them. A clinician who is considering prescribing this combination to a sick patient has to weigh many competing factors:. The reality is physicians are not computer programs that take a list of symptoms as input and print out a prescription as output.
They use their judgement and experience every day — what is commonly known as intuition. This is sheer hyperbole. And this is also why prior knowledge is important. We know a priori that these drugs have antiviral properties. We know their side effects. We know they have been used for multiple conditions for decades. We know the credentials of the doctors reporting the results of these incomplete, small-sized, non-RCT trials.
Practising physicians have intuition built out of successful and unsuccessful interventions they have performed over the years. We also know that there is no known or plausible mechanism for gaumutra , homeopathy or any alternative treatments being advanced on the social media. Researchers are already starting large clinical trials in Europe and elsewhere to test the efficacy of these and other drugs. While they wait, doctors should not fall prey to absurd hype from Trump, Musk or Fox News.
Chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine are currently recommended for the treatment of hospitalized COVID patients in several countries. The main concerns of using either chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine is cardiotoxicity, especially prolonged QT syndrome, which is a heart rhythm condition that can cause fast, chaotic heartbeats. This concern is particularly more acute in patients with underlying health issues and immunosuppression, according to the CDC. Because of these concerns, CDC urges caution when considering these drugs in patients with chronic medical conditions or those who are receiving medications that might interact and cause arrythmias -- problems with the heartbeat's rate or rhythm.
However, infectious disease experts say it's far too soon to reach such a conclusion. Nevertheless, the publicity surrounding hydroxychloroquine has fueled shortages across the country, NBC News reports , leaving those who desperately need it, like individuals with lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, without their much-needed medication.
How Does Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin Combination Therapy Measure Up For COVID Treatment?
In at least one case of self-medication, a couple in their 60s took chloroquine phosphate in an attempt to prevent COVID The man and woman fell critically ill, and the man ultimately passed away. The toxic ingredient they consumed was not the medication form of chloroquine, but rather it was an ingredient used as parasite treatment for fish. Similar to the possible side effects of hydrocychloroquine, those who use azithromycin may experience a life-threatening fast heart rate, especially in older adults.
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Additional side effects include liver problems; allergic reactions; diarrhea; nausea, vomiting, stomach pain; or headache. On Tuesday, the day that the experimental drug treatment rolled out in the state, Cuomo sounded his loudest alarm yet on New York's coronavirus crisis, warning the curve was showing no signs of slowing down and flattening out, but rather it was rising faster doubling every three days and more dangerously than initially projected.