Researchers find no beneficial evidence to support the use of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine, either used alone or in combination with azithromycin, for the treatment of COVID-19.
Researchers warn early encouraging signals from small-scale preliminary trials for the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus should be taken with caution. Current evidence suggests chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine can not be used as a general treatment for all COVID-19 infections. Researchers say the medications should be restricted for the treatment of COVID-19 patients with pneumonia and high death risk, and only then as part of a clinical trial. The study also points out the negative side effects produced by the anti-malarial drugs and warns that those who need the medication to treat Lupus might not have access to treatment if widespread use for coronavirus occurs. The study reports there is no evidence to support the mass use of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine to prevent infection from occurring.
Coronavirus patients treated with chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine are significantly more likely to experience ventricular arrhythmias than those who were treated with other medications. The study also revealed that out of 100,000 COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized, the 15,000 who received hydroxychloroquine were more likely to have worse health outcomes than those treated with other drugs.
Study warns of the potentially serious adverse effects of prescribing hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin for the treatment of COVID-19. Some of the potential side effects include cardiac arrhythmias, hypoglycemia, and neuropsychiatric effects.