Chloroquine: pre-clinical evidence is sufficient to justify clinical research into its effects for COVID-19

Added March 26, 2020

Citation: Cortegiani A,  Ingoglia G,  Ippolito M,  et al. A systematic review on the efficacy and safety of chloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19. Journal of Critical Care 2020  [Epub ahead of print]

What is this? Currently (26 March 2020), there is no known effective treatment for COVID-19. Various drugs have been suggested as possible treatments, including chloroquine.

In this rapid systematic review, the authors searched for studies of any design evaluating the efficacy and safety of chloroquine and chloroquine-related formulations for patients with COVID-19 pneumonia (including ongoing studies) or in-vitro studies. They did not limit by time or language of publication and did their search on 1 March 2020. They included one narrative letter, one in-vitro study, one editorial, one expert consensus paper and two national guideline documents. They also identified 23 ongoing clinical trials.

What works: Nothing noted.

What doesn’t work: Nothing noted.

What’s uncertain: The potential benefits and harms of chloroquine for patients with COVID-19 are uncertain but the existing pre-clinical evidence is sufficient to justify clinical research into its effects.


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.