Results from the first controlled study of hydroxychloroquine for treating COVID-19 showed no significant difference in outcomes between those who received the drug and those who received usual care. Hydroxychloroquine is one of several existing drugs that scientists are hoping will show improved symptoms and recovery in clinical trials for in patients with COVID-19.
However, the study’s small size and other weaknesses mean it does not offer a lot of helpful information in determining the possible utility of hydroxychloroquine, according to experts who reviewed the study. The study also tested only hydroxychloroquine alone, not with the antibiotic azithromycin.
Only 30 patients in China were involved. Half got hydroxychloroquine 400 mg daily for five days, the other half got usual care. All patients received an anti-viral drug that’s not in common use in the U.S.
Steve Parker, M.D.