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.


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