Meta-analysis of the evidence on hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19


  • Dawn O'Shea
  • Univadis Medical News
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Following the demonstration of efficacy of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) against SARS-CoV-2 in-vitro, many trials have started to evaluate its efficacy in clinical settings.

Published in the Journal of Medical Virology, this week, is a systematic review and meta-analysis of seven studies (n=1,358) to evaluate the safety and efficacy of HCQ alone or in combination in terms of ‘time to clinical cure’, ‘virological cure’, death or clinical worsening of disease, radiological progression and safety.

Two studies reported possible benefit in time to body temperature normalisation and one study reported less cough days in the HCQ arm.

Treatment with HCQ resulted in fewer cases showing radiological progression of lung disease (odds ratio [OR] 0.31; 95% CI 0.11-0.9).

No difference was observed in virological cure (OR 2.37; 95% CI 0.13-44.53), death or clinical worsening of disease (OR 1.37; 95% CI 1.37-21.97) and safety (OR 2.19; 95% CI 0.59-8.18), when compared to conventional treatment. Five studies reported either the safety or efficacy of HCQ with azithromycin.

The authors conclude that HCQ seems to be promising in terms of radiological progression, with a comparable safety profile. However, they say, more data is needed to come to a definite conclusion.