Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for treating COVID-19: benefits and harms are uncertain

Added May 8, 2020

Citation: Singh AK, Singh A, Shaikh A, et al. Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of COVID-19 with or without diabetes: A systematic search and a narrative review with a special reference to India and other developing countries. Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews 2020; 14(3): 241-6

What is this? Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have been suggested as possible treatments for COVID-19.

In this rapid review, the authors searched for articles that reported on the effects of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine for patients with mild to severe COVID-19 infection. They restricted their search to articles published in English and did the search on 21 March 2020. They included two studies in humans: one conducted in China comparing chloroquine alone versus placebo and one in France comparing the combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin versus hydroxychloroquine alone versus placebo alone.

What works: Nothing noted.

What doesn’t work: Nothing noted.

What’s uncertain: At the time of the review (March 2020), the available evidence on the effects of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine for treating COVID-19 patients was very limited and the potential benefits and harms were uncertain.

 

Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on the coronavirus (COVID-19) but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the basis of this summary alone.

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