Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis

Analysis of data from 671 hospitals (total n=96,032; 14,888 receiving hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine ± macrolide) was unable to confirm any benefit of these medicines; with each independently associated with increased risk of ventricular arrhythmia and in-hospital mortality.

SPS commentary:

A related comment notes that despite limitations inherent to the observational nature of this study, it was well designed and controlled, and the results suggest an absence of benefit of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, and that they could even be harmful. The authors note it is tempting to attribute the increased risk of deaths to the higher incidence of drug-induced arrhythmia, however the number of deaths in the treatment group was much greater than the number of patients with arrhythmia. They say that another hypothesis to explain the increased risk of death is that their antiviral and immunomodulatory properties could worsen COVID-19 severity in some patients. 


The Lancet

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