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In this retrospective review, the authors compared SARS-CoV-2–positive patients seen at a single tertiary care center with (n = 50) or without (n = 103) chronic hydroxychloroquine use for at least 6 weeks prior to evaluation. They found no significant differences between the hydroxychloroquine group and the control group in any measured clinical outcomes, including admission rates (34% vs 42.5%, respectively; P = .468), length of hospital stay (5 days vs 8.5 days, respectively; P = .123), length of ICU stay (9 days vs 17 days, respectively; P = .825), intubation rates (19% vs 18.5%, respectively; P = .958), and mortality (19% vs 20.4%, respectively; P = .25). The outcomes were the same on subgroup analysis when chronic immunosuppressive therapy was corrected for.
Although this study may have been underpowered to detect smaller differences in outcomes, the results suggest that chronic hydroxychloroquine use prior to development of COVID-19 does not have a pre-exposure prophylactic benefit.
– Margaret Hammond, MD
This abstract is available on the publisher's site.
Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) has failed to demonstrate significant therapeutic benefit for COVID-19 in recent studies, although interest in this medication’s potential pre- and post-prophylactic efficacy remains, with one retrospective study demonstrating reduced COVID-19 infection amongst patients taking chronic HCQ. In this study, we sought to evaluate COVID-19 clinical outcomes in patients taking chronic HCQ for an underlying condition as well as in a matched cohort not taking HCQ at time of COVID-19 diagnosis.