Zinc-Hydroxychloroquine Combination Effective in Some COVID-19 Patients: Study

May 13, 2020 Updated: May 13, 2020

Treating COVID-19 patients with zinc in addition to hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin led to a higher rate of discharge from hospitals and a lower likelihood of dying, according to a new study.

Researchers at New York University’s School of Medicine reviewed records from roughly 900 patients with COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

About half received zinc sulfate in addition to hydroxychloroquine, a treatment typically used against malaria and lupus, and azithromycin, a common antibiotic. The other half received the two treatments without zinc.

Patients receiving the triple-drug treatment were 1.5 times more likely to recover enough to be discharged from hospitals and were 44 percent less likely to die, when compared to the other group.

“We found a statistically significant decrease in mortality among patients who received zinc as part of their treatment regimen. This is the first study, to our knowledge, that showed a clinical difference in patients with COVID-19 who received zinc,” Joseph Rahimian, one of the researchers, told The Epoch Times in an email.

Epoch Times Photo
Palestinian employees pack a nutritional supplement made with vitamin C and zinc to help strengthen the body’s immunity against the CCP virus in the West Bank of Hebron on April 15, 2020. (Hazem Bader/AFP via Getty Images)

“Zinc is a relatively accessible, inexpensive, well tolerated treatment, so it was exciting to see that it could potentially benefit our patients,” he added.

Studies underway now are trying to determine what medicines may be most helpful to give with zinc to COVID-19 patients, Rahimian noted.

The preprint study, which has not been peer reviewed, involved looking at electronic medical records for all patients given the medications being analyzed from March 2 through April 5.

The same three-drug regimen worked against COVID-19 in hundreds of high-risk patients, a New York doctor told The Epoch Times’s sister company NTD Television.

“The virus is inside the cell, the zinc cannot get inside the cell for biochemical reasons, so the hydroxychloroquine opens the door and lets the zinc in,” Dr. Vladimir Zelenko said. Azithromycin protects the patient from secondary infections, he added.

A California doctor also recommended using hydroxychloroquine, zinc, and azithromycin.

New-York-patient
Paramedics take a patient into the emergency center at Maimonides Medical Center during the outbreak of the CCP virus in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, on April 14, 2020. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

While the new study found the three drugs led to a higher rate of discharge and a decrease in mortality, it also found no impact on the length of hospitalization, the time spent on ventilators, or time in intensive care.

Another recent observational study found that hydroxychloroquine didn’t have a statistically significant impact against COVID-19.

Researchers examined records from 1,438 patients who were hospitalized between March 15 and March 28 in 25 hospitals in New York. About half of the patients were given hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, 271 received hydroxychloroquine alone, 211 received azithromycin alone, and 221 received neither.

“Among patients hospitalized in metropolitan New York with COVID-19, treatment with hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, or both, compared with neither treatment, was not significantly associated with differences in in-hospital mortality,” researchers wrote in the study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

“However, the interpretation of these findings may be limited by the observational design.”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber