Wednesday, March 25, 2020

First Chloroquine-For-COVID-19 Controlled Study: Meh

From Forbes, March 25:

Chloroquine Use For COVID-19 Coronavirus Shows No Benefit In First Small—But Limited—Controlled Trial
Results from the first controlled study of hydroxychloroquine for treating COVID-19 showed no significant difference in outcomes between those who received the drug and those who received usual care. Hydroxychloroquine is one of several existing drugs that scientists are hoping will show improved symptoms and recovery in clinical trials for in patients with COVID-19.

However, the study’s small size and other weaknesses mean it does not offer a lot of helpful information in determining the possible utility of hydroxychloroquine, according to experts who reviewed the study. The study also tested only hydroxychloroquine alone, not with the antibiotic azithromycin.

“The combination therapy of azithromycin and hydroxychloroquine was thought to be better over the monotherapy of hydroxychloroquine to control the mixed infection of virus and bacteria,” explained Sunit K. Singh, PhD, a professor of molecular immunology & virology and head of the molecular biology unit at Banaras Hindu University’s Institute of Medical Sciences in Varanasi, India....

More interesting will be the initial results from the New York usage which should start appearing between Sunday and Tuesday next week. They aren't the best controlled studies but at the moment clinicians need to know if there is anything in the current pharmacopoeia that works.