Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Researchers from the Department of Physiology, Anatomy & Genetics (DPAG) have collaborated on an international study that demonstrates a detailed mechanistic understanding of how the anti-malaria drug, Hydroxychloroquine, combined with antibiotics, can cause adverse cardiac side-effects in COVID-19 patients. This gives weight to US Federal advice against using this combined treatment.

Blue and white capsules pill in blister pack arranged neatly together

Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), a drug normally used to treat malaria, has recently been touted as a potential treatment for coronavirus. International interest in the drug was raised following reports of US President Donald Trump taking the drug to ward off COVID-19 and there have been clinical trials in several countries testing its effectiveness. However, many scientists have warned about side effects of using HCQ, which has led to the World Health Organisation temporarily suspending several studies over safety fears. 

Recent reports on the use of HCQ alone, or combined with an antibiotic called azithromycin (AZM), in the management of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have specifically raised concerns over cardiac safety. However, so far little has been known about the mechanisms behind HCQ and AZM therapy to help evaluate cardiac safety, and therefore conclusively determine if it is unsafe for the heart.

A new international study, on which the DPAG groups of Professor David Paterson, with Dr Dan Li, and Associate Professor Neil Herring have collaborated, has provided mechanistic insight into how HCQ alone and HCQ with AZM affects cardiac electrophysiology.

Read the full story on the DPAG website

Similar stories

African trial of novel HIV vaccine candidate starts

The Globally Relevant AIDS Vaccine Europe-Africa Trials Partnership (GREAT) – of which the University of Oxford is a lead partner – announced today the start of vaccinations in a Phase I clinical trial of a novel HIV vaccine candidate.

Reducing fat in the diabetic heart could improve recovery from heart attack

New research from the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics has shown that in type 2 diabetes an overload of lipids reduces the heart’s ability to generate energy during a heart attack, decreasing chances of recovery.

Brain cortex may regulate the need for sleep

Why we sleep, and the processes behind sleep, are amongst the most interesting questions in modern neuroscience.

New data show rise in hospital admissions for unvaccinated pregnant women

The Chief Midwifery Officer for England will urge expectant mums to have their COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible. This follows a worrying rise in unvaccinated women being admitted to hospital with severe COVID-19, and evidence that the Delta variant poses a significantly greater risk than all previous strains.

Cooking with coal or wood associated with increased risk of major eye diseases

A study involving nearly half a million people in China reveals a clear link between cooking with wood or coal, and an increased risk of major eye diseases that can lead to blindness, according to a report published today in PLOS Medicine.

The mental health impacts of being an Olympian

Dr David M. Lyreskog, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Psychiatry explores the topic in detail.