The true harms of HCQ appear to be no greater than for drugs like the OTC NSAIDS (ibuprofen, aleve). The excessive harms that have been claimed were pulled out of thin air, just like the Lancet’s Mehra/Desai/Surgisphere paper, for the same purpose. That purpose is propaganda. It is the responsibility of medical doctors to seek to distinguish between propaganda and fact.
This is not an intellectual exercise. We are talking about a pandemic that has crashed the world economy, caused famines, and governments show no signs that things are going to change any time soon. So if there is a magic bullet or perhaps many (see lab data on repurposed drugs for coronaviruses) — the bullets need to be used asap, and not withheld to make way for remdesivir (about 3000x more costly and also more dangerous (https://www.drugs.com/sfx/remdesivir-side-effects.html) and poorly tested vaccines that use novel platforms and, if used under Emergency Use Authorizations, will waive manufacturer and government liability.
Pay attention to the pre-Covid literature vs the post-Covid literature on HCQ harms.
In 2007 the Oxford journal Rheumatology
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17202178/ found: “Conclusion: PR interval, QTc interval and heart rate were not different from normal values. The rate of heart conduction disorders was similar to what is expected in the general population, and contrasted with prior results in CQ-treated patients. Our results add further evidence on the safety of HCQ compared with CQ.” [BTW, excessive or prolonged doses can cause damage that will not occur in those treated for Covid, briefly, with standard doses.]
From Expert Opinion on Drug Safety 2011:
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21417950/: “Expert opinion: HCQ has been shown by numerous studies over the past 15 years to be efficacious in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus, discoid lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. HCQ does not appear to be associated with any increased risk of congenital defects, spontaneous abortions, fetal death, prematurity or decreased numbers of live births in patients with autoimmune diseases. Therefore, in the author’s opinion, HCQ is safe for the treatment of autoimmune diseases during pregnancy.”
But it is too dangerous for patients with Covid? Who is fooling who?
When tested in OUTPATIENTS (so the side effects of the drug are not confused with the clinical damage caused by Covid or other meds being used) the drug is safe, according to the second cardiotoxicity link I provided above:
https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.07.16.20155531v2 “Conclusion: Data from three outpatient COVID-19 trials demonstrated that gastrointestinal side effects were common but mild with the use of hydroxychloroquine, while serious side effects were rare. No deaths occurred related to hydroxychloroquine. Randomized clinical trials can safely investigate whether hydroxychloroquine is efficacious for COVID-19.”
What a precedent! If doctors don’t educate themselves and speak up about what is happening, who else can?
Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. Doctors, this is your wheelhouse. Speak now, or forever hold your peace.