Hydroxychloroquine Clinical Benefits Become Clearer

Hydroxychloroquine reduces time to clinical recovery when treating COVID-19 disease patients

doctor helping covid-19 patients

The accelerating debate about the clinical benefit of treating COVID-19 disease patients with hydroxychloroquine became a little bit clearer with a new study.

Previous studies have indicated that chloroquine (CQ) shows antagonism against COVID-19 in vitro. 

As a derivative of CQ, hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is reported to offer similar therapeutic effects, but with fewer adverse effects. 

However, the scientific evidence regarding this antimalarial drug efficacy in COVID-19 patients is limited, since it is a new disease. 

A new, small, non-peer-reviewed clinical study published on March 31, 2020, evaluated the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in the treatment of patients with COVID-19 in China. 

From February 4 to February 28, 2020, 62 patients suffering from COVID-19 were diagnosed and admitted to the Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, located in China.

All participants were randomized in a parallel-group trial #ChiCTR2000029559, 31 patients were assigned to receive an additional 5-day HCQ (400 mg/d) treatment, Time to clinical recovery (TTCR), clinical characteristics, and radiological results were assessed at baseline and 5 days after treatment to evaluate the effect of HCQ. 

This study’s key findings were:

  • For the 62 COVID-19 patients, 46.8% (29 of 62) were male and 53.2% (33 of 62) were female, the mean age was 44.7 (15.3) years. No difference in the age and sex distribution between the control group and the HCQ group. 
  • But for TTCR, the body temperature recovery time and the cough remission time were significantly shortened in the HCQ treatment group. 
  • Besides, a larger proportion of patients with improved pneumonia in the HCQ treatment group (80.6%, 25 of 32) compared with the control group (54.8%, 17 of 32). 
  • Notably, all 4 patients progressed to severe illness that occurred in the control group.
  • However, there were 2 patients with mild adverse reactions in the HCQ treatment group. 

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The significance of this limited study’s findings is that ‘among patients with COVID-19, the use of HCQ could significantly shorten TTCR and promote the absorption of pneumonia.’

However, larger-scale clinical research is needed to clarify HCQ’s specific mechanism and to continuously optimize the treatment plan for COVID-19 patients, said these researchers.

This study was supported by the Epidemiological Study of COVID-19 Pneumonia to Science and Technology Department of Hubei Province (2020FCA005). And, the authors did not declare any competing interest.

Note: Non-peer-reviewed medical research means it has yet to be clinically evaluated by other health professionals, and therefore, should not be used to guide clinical practice.

COVID-19 disease therapeutic treatment news published by Precision Vaccinations.