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17-04-2020 | Rheumatology | News | Article

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‘Dearth of evidence’ to support prophylactic chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine use for COVID-19

Claire Barnard

medwireNews: Findings from a systematic review published in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases confirm that there is currently insufficient evidence to support the efficacy of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine for the prevention of COVID-19.

Vir Negi (Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India) and team systematically reviewed published articles evaluating this question, finding that data from three “promising” preclinical in vitro studies supported the prophylactic efficacy of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection.

However, they stress that although two published clinical opinion articles advocated the use of these agents to prevent COVID-19, no clinical studies were available at the time of the systematic review, highlighting a “dearth of evidence to support the efficacy of [chloroquine] or [hydroxychloroquine] in preventing COVID-19.”

These findings follow calls for caution from rheumatologists on the use of these agents for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19, and advice from the American College of Rheumatology emphasizing that the allocation of drugs such as hydroxychloroquine should be prioritized for rheumatology patients who need them.

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare. © 2020 Springer Healthcare part of the Springer Nature Group

17 April 2020: The coronavirus pandemic is affecting all healthcare professionals across the globe. Medicine Matters’ focus, in this difficult time, is the dissemination of the latest data to support you in your research and clinical practice, based on the scientific literature. We will update the information we provide on the site, as the data are published. However, please refer to your own professional and governmental guidelines for the latest guidance in your own country.

Int J Rheum Dis 2020; doi:10.1111/1756-185X.13842

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