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.

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

Singula Bio, a new Oxford spin-out company - Cancer need not be fatal

General Innovation Research

Singula Bio, a bold new seed-stage biotechnology company spun out of Oxford University, has been launched with the intention of helping show that cancer need not be fatal. Led by three Oxford cancer specialists, the firm is aims to become a world leader in therapies to use against difficult-to-treat solid malignancies such as ovarian cancer - using the body’s own immune system to fight previously fatal cancers.

Major rise in public support for COVID vaccine – Oxford study

Coronavirus COVID-19 General Research

More than three quarters of people in the UK now say they are ’very likely’ to have the vaccine – up from 50% among the same group of survey respondents five months ago –according to a two-wave Oxford University survey published today.

Coronavirus vaccination linked to substantial reduction in hospitalisation, real-world data suggests

Coronavirus COVID-19 General Research

The first study to describe the effects in real-world communities of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine has been reported in a pre-print publication today, showing a clear reduction in the risk of hospitalisation from COVID-19 amongst those who have received the vaccine.

World’s largest clinical trial for COVID-19 treatments expands internationally

Clinical Trials Coronavirus COVID-19 General

The Randomised Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy (RECOVERY) Trial, the world’s largest clinical trial for COVID-19 treatments, has now expanded internationally with Indonesia and Nepal among the first countries to join. The first patients have been recruited to RECOVERY International.

Reprogramming tumour cells using an antimalarial drug

General Research

Results from the ATOM clinical trial at the University of Oxford have shown that the anti-malarial drug Atovaquone can reduce very low oxygen tumour environments. This has the potential to make cancers behave less aggressively and to improve the impact of everyday cancer treatments.