Extensive Study Throws Cold Water on Controversial Drug for COVID-19

May 27, 2020 by Christen Aldrich

Filed under COVID-19 for Employers, COVID-19 for the Workforce

Last modified May 28, 2020

According to a major study discussed in this article by MedPage Today, the use of the controversial chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in hospitalized COVID-19 patients was associated with increased risk of death and higher rates of arrhythmias.

Mandeep Mehra, MD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston reported the 15,000 patients who received HCQ or chloroquine were about twice as likely to die compared to controls who did not receive these agents after adjusting for covariates. The drug was also associated with a higher risk of ventricular arrhythmia during hospitalization.

“Previous small-scale studies have failed to identify robust evidence of a benefit and larger, randomised controlled trials are not yet completed,” said co-author Frank Ruschitzka, MD, Director of the Heart Center at University Hospital Zurich in a statement. “However, we now know from our study that the chance that these medications improve outcomes in COVID-19 is quite low.”

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