Drugs

FDA Revokes Emergency Coronavirus Use of Malaria Drugs

The Food and Drug Administration said on Monday that it was revoking emergency authorization of two malaria drugs to treat Covid-19 in hospitalized patients, saying that they are “unlikely to be effective” and could carry potential risks.

The drugs, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, were heavily promoted by President Trump after a handful of small, poorly controlled studies suggested that they could work against the disease caused by the coronavirus. Mr. Trump said he took hydroxychloroquine after he had been exposed to two people who tested positive for the coronavirus.

The agency said that after reviewing some data, it determined that the drugs, particularly hydroxychloroquine, did not demonstrate potential benefits that outweighed their risks. Earlier this spring, the F.D.A. had also issued a warning that the drugs could cause dangerous heart arrhythmias in Covid-19 patients.

The review that led to the revocation found more than 100 cases of serious heart disorders in

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Coronavirus Can Set Off a ‘Cytokine Storm.’ These Drugs May Calm It.

The device, called CytoSorb, is about the size of a drinking glass and is filled with coarse polymers, each roughly the size of a grain of salt. Every grain, or bead, has millions of pores and channels that add up to a surface area of roughly seven football fields and filter out molecules roughly the size of cytokines. One cartridge can purify an entire body’s blood volume roughly 70 times in a 24-hour period.

Bigger objects like cells go around the beads and are unaffected, and smaller things like electrolytes go straight through, said Dr. Phillip Chan, the chief executive of CytoSorbents Corporation, which makes the device. CytoSorb may also remove some proteins that the body needs.

But “in a life-threatening illness when you have a cytokine storm,” Dr. Chan said, “it’s more or less a race to remove what will kill you versus the temporary inconvenience of removing things

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Blood Pressure Drugs Don’t Increase Coronavirus Risk, Studies Find

Drugs that are widely prescribed to treat high blood pressure do not make patients more susceptible to coronavirus infection, or to severe illness if they do become infected, researchers reported on Friday.

Their findings are good news for millions of people who take blood pressure drugs that belong to two classes: ACE inhibitors, which include lisinopril, captopril and other drugs with generic names ending in –pril; and ARBs, which include losartan, valsartan and other generic drugs ending in –sartan. Brand names for ACE inhibitors include Zestril and Prinivil; for ARBs, Cozaar and Atacand.

Since the epidemic began, conflicting theories have circulated about whether those drugs could make the disease better or worse, or have any effect at all.

The U.S. study also found no risk linked to three other classes of commonly used blood pressure drugs — beta blockers, calcium-channel blockers and thiazide diuretics.

Both studies were based on reviewing

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Old Drugs May Find a New Purpose: Fighting the Coronavirus

In the early 1950s, psychiatrists began treating schizophrenia with a new drug called chlorpromazine. Seven decades later, the drug is still used as an anti-psychotic.

But now scientists have discovered that the drug, also known as Thorazine, can do something entirely different. It can stop the new coronavirus that causes Covid-19 from invading cells.

Driven by the pandemic’s spread, research teams have been screening thousands of drugs to see if they have this unexpected potential to fight the coronavirus. They’ve tested the drugs on dishes of cells, and a few dozen candidates have made the first cut.

They’re startlingly diverse. Some, like chlorpromazine, have been used for years — not for viral infections, but for conditions including cancer, allergies, arthritis, even irregular menstrual periods. Other drugs have not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but they have already proven safe in clinical trials. Their track records

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