Off-label Use Of COVID-19 Coronavirus Treatments Increasing

Hydroxychloroquine is under clinical testing in multiple labs. But even without clinical proof of effectiveness, its use to treat COVID-19 is increasing. But according to one poll, plasma from recovered patients may be seen as more effective.

While the search for effective treatments continues, doctors seem to be gravitating to some familiar drug therapies. Convalescent plasma, or blood plasma taken from recovered COVID-19 patients, has shown promise in treating patients still suffering with the virus. According to Sermo, a global health care polling company and social platform for physicians.

Sermo released results of its Real Time Barometer study (March 30 to April 2) to understand COVID-19 treatments and their efficacy. A minimum of 250 respondents per country for 30 countries participated (United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, Turkey, Poland, Russia, Finland, Ireland, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Greece, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Australia, China, India, and Hong Kong).

According to the results of the survey, the top three treatments that doctors most reported prescribing for COVID-19 were azithromycin or similar antibiotics (50 percent), hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine (44 percent), and bronchodilators (36 percent). Reported usage of hydroxychloroquine nearly doubled (23 to 40 percent) week over week in New York. Among COVID-19-treating physicians, the top three treatments that have been used and perceived as very or extremely effective included plasma from recovered patients (52 percent), hydroxychloroquine (38 percent), and nonapproved drugs (e.g., remdesivir; 37 percent).

“While reason for optimism, as a clinical researcher, I strongly recommend to pause at further interpretation until we can measure the clinical effectiveness,” Brian Ferris, M.D., president of the Pacific NW Vascular Society in Washington state, said in a statement.

With more drug therapies being tested and tried on a regular basis, there is hope that we will find effective treatments for COVID-19. The key is clinical evidence, not just anecdotal reports.

Keep the faith and keep after it!

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