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Hydroxychloroquine in patients with COVID-19: an open-label, randomized, controlled trial

By Wei Tang, Zhujun Cao, Mingfeng Han, Zhengyan Wang, Junwen Chen, Wenjin Sun, Yaojie Wu, Wei Xiao, Shengyong Liu, Erzhen Chen, Wei Chen, Xiongbiao Wang, Jiuyong Yang, Jun Lin, Qingxia Zhao, Youqin Yan, Zhibin Xie, Dan Li, Yaofeng Yang, Leshan Liu, Jieming Qu, Guang Ning, Guochao Shi, Qing Xie

Posted 14 Apr 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.04.10.20060558

Abstract Objectives To assess the efficacy and safety of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) plus standard-of-care (SOC) compared with SOC alone in adult patients with COVID-19. Design Multicenter, open-label, randomized controlled trial. Setting 16 government-designated COVID-19 treatment centers in China through 11 to 29 in February 2020. Participants 150 patients hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 were included in the intention to treat analysis. 75 patients were assigned to HCQ plus SOC and 75 to SOC alone. Interventions HCQ was administrated with a loading dose of 1, 200 mg daily for three days followed by a maintained dose of 800 mg daily for the remaining days (total treatment duration: 2 or 3 weeks for mild/moderate or severe patients, respectively). Main outcome measures The primary outcome was whether participants had a negative conversion of SARS-CoV-2 by 28 days, and was analyzed according to the intention-to-treat principle. Adverse events were analyzed in the safety population in which HCQ recipients were participants who actually received at least one dose of HCQ and HCQ non-recipients were those actually managed with SOC alone. Results Among 150 patients, 148 were with mild to moderate disease and 2 were with severe disease. The mean days ({+/-}standard deviation, min to max) from symptoms onset to randomization was 16.6 ({+/-}10.5 days, 3 to 41 days). The negative conversion probability by 28 days in SOC plus HCQ group was 85.4% (95% confidence interval (CI) 73.8% to 93.8%), similar to that in the SOC group 81.3% (95%CI 71.2% to 89.6%). Between-group difference was 4.1% (95%CI -10.3% to 18.5%). In the safety population, adverse events were recorded in 7 (8.8%) HCQ non-recipients (N=80) and in 21 (30%) HCQ recipients (N=70). The most common adverse event in the HCQ recipients was diarrhea, reported in 7 (10%) patients. Two HCQ recipients reported serious adverse events. Conclusions The administration of HCQ did not result in a significantly higher negative conversion probability than SOC alone in patients mainly hospitalized with persistent mild to moderate COVID-19. Adverse events were higher in HCQ recipients than in HCQ non-recipients. Trial registration ChiCTR2000029868

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