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      So, Michael Flynn has been pardoned by Trump. His crime was lying to the FBI about talking to the Russians before Trump was inaugurated. Even a man like Trump can do the right thing occasionally, usually for the wrong reasons. It is entirely reasonable and routine for a President-elect’s advisors to talk to foreign governments. […]
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Ugh.

So hydroxychloroquine doesn’t work. Not only does it not work, you’re actually more likely to die if you take it as a treatment for Coronavirus.

A prolonged QT interval leading to cardiac arrest is one of the known side effects. But sure, let’s sell it as the cure so Trump can reopen the economy. He’s desperate so he has to promote and hope that his long shot intuition on the efficacy of the drug was correct. Golly, if it were that easy, I have a bajillion designs for kinase inhibitors that will cure any cancer you have. I could be rich. All I need is a national megaphone and a dream.

Let’s stick to more realistic treatment. If you have high blood pressure and you are taking a ACE inhibitor (drug name ends in ipril) or an Angiotensin II inhibitor (drug name ends in artan), there are some new studies that suggest they might be protective. The mechanism for how this works makes sense based on years of accumulated knowledge on how the renin-angiotensin system works and how the virus latches on to a cell. Now, it just needs to be proven with more studies. That’s the way this stuff works. It’s “trial and error”, not “trial and succeed!”. There is no quick and dirty answer here.

That’s why the federal government needs to do nationwide testing. Enhanced social distancing through extensive testing is all we’ve got right now.

Trump and his base need to deal with that ASAP.

Just think about how many desperate patients and their families fell for Trump’s hawking of this drug. It’s criminal.

7 Responses

  1. I take Losartan.

    Meanwhile: who else here remembers Carnac the Magnificent? 😈

    • Losartan, I know it well. My first project as a drug designer was on angiotensin II inhibitors. There’s a new receptor involved in the Covid story. It’s an ACE2 receptor. Angiotensin II makes your blood pressure go up. But once it’s done its job it gets cleaved by the ACE2 receptor and the blood pressure goes down. The problem is Covid binds to the ACE2 receptor, gives itself a little twist to open up its capsid and then releases proteases into the cell. So the virus spike protein blocks the function of ACE2, so the angiotensin II can’t be cleaved and blood pressure go down.
      The virus is apparently blocking the site. I don’t know if it does anything other than that. But what it does mean is that the patient will have a lot of angiotensin II lollygagging around unchecked and causing blood pressure to stay up.
      So, if you take an ACE inhibitor you prevent the angiotensinII from being created in the first place. And if you take an AngiotensinII inhibitor, you will inhibit the A2 receptor and angiotensin II won’t bind to A2 and force your BP to rise.
      So, that’s one explanation for why these drugs may be protective. The mechanism still needs to be proven. Lots of tests to run. In the meantime, doctors are mostly in agreement that if you show up at the hospital and you’re already taking these drugs, there is no reason to discontinue their use. In other words, you have nothing to lose by taking them and possibly something to gain.

  2. RD,

    Since you have a background in drug research…A question for you since you undertand the nuances involved in this kind of research…I was wondering if it is possible that I may have contacted the virus back in late January (before the truth about it was reported and trump was calling it a hoax perpetrated by the democrats and long before testing was even considered a possibility). I was working in an office at the time and came in contact with people all day. My systems were a fever that wouldn’t go away with the usual medications, a consistent cough, upper respiratory breathing issues (i.e., a constant wheezing sound) that wouldn’t go away after more than a week. I finally went to the doctor and they diagnosed it at first as an upper respiratory infection and then when it continued to get worse, they then diagnosed it as “walking pneumonia” but did no tests to confirm that what it actually was. They prescribed antiobotics (the kind I’ve never had before with other upper respiratory illnesses I’ve had in the past). Anyway, within 8 days, the fever finally broke and the wheezing sound went away (although the cough lingered on for another week or so).

    I realize antiobotics do not have an effect on the typical virus, but since we knew so little about the coronavirus at that time, do you think it possible that I had contacted the virus and the antibiotics helped me overcome it? I’m fortunate to have had excellent health all my life coupled with a good immune system. Unfortunately, testing is just not readily available here in Texas but I would really like to know if I had been exposed to the virus and am have now become immune to it. At the rate things are going here in Texas, I may never know whether I had it or not.

    • Hi Kathleen, I was R&D, not MD so I’ll only answer with what I know.
      1.) Its possible you had Coronavirus. The only way to know for sure is to get an antibody test. These tests are not widely available. Go figure.
      2.) It’s unlikely that an antibiotic would have an effect on a viral infection. It can only impact any secondary infections you might have gotten that were caused by opportunistic bacteria.
      3.) shainzona over on Twitter is looking specifically for this kind of information. See the tweet below:

  3. Thanks, RD for your informative response. Unfortunately, I do not have a twitter account (I know it’s hard to believe). Is there any other way to let Ms. Shainzona about my illness during that time frame she speaks of? If I had been exposed to the virus, I would certainly be willing to take part in the testing being done to ascertain immunity to the virus in order to help toward the developing a remedy.

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