Largest hydroxychloroquine study to date finds no benefit for COVID-19

Hydroxychloroquine showed no benefit for patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in a study conducted by the Veterans Health Administration, The Hill reported. 

Analyzing 368 patients, the study was the largest to test hydroxychloroquine's effects against COVID-19 and found that the two primary outcomes for patients treated with the drug were death and the need for mechanical ventilation. 

The analysis was conducted retrospectively and was based on data from patients hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 cases in all VA hospitals through April 11, The Hill reported. It was submitted for publication in The New England Journal of Medicine but has not yet been peer-reviewed. 

Of the 368 patients involved, 97 were treated with hydroxychloroquine alone, 113 were given a combination of hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic azithromycin, and the rest were given neither. 

According to the study, 28 percent of patients who were given hydroxychloroquine plus routine care died versus 11 percent of those given routine care without the drug, The Hill reported. 

The researchers noted that hydroxychloroquine was more likely to be prescribed to patients with severe COVID-19 cases, so increased mortality rates were to be expected, but that the high mortality rates in the hydroxychloroquine-only group persisted even after adjusting for that fact. 

Read the full article here.


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