Aims: Studies have indicated that chloroquine (CQ) shows antagonism against COVID-19 in vitro. However, evidence regarding its effects in patients is limited. This study aims to evaluate the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in the treatment of patients with COVID-19.
Main methods: From February 4 to February 28, 2020, 62 patients suffering from COVID-19 were diagnosed and admitted to Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University. All participants were randomized in a parallel-group trial, 31 patients were assigned to receive an additional 5-day HCQ (400 mg/d) treatment, Time to clinical recovery (TTCR), clinical characteristics, and radiological results were assessed at baseline and 5 days after treatment to evaluate the effect of HCQ.
Key findings: For the 62 COVID-19 patients, 46.8% (29 of 62) were male and 53.2% (33 of 62) were female, the mean age was 44.7 (15.3) years. No difference in the age and sex distribution between the control group and the HCQ group. But for TTCR, the
- body temperature recovery time and the cough remission time were significantly shortened in the HCQ treatment group
- a larger proportion of patients with improved pneumonia in the HCQ treatment group (80.6%, 25 of 32) compared with the control group (54.8%, 17 of 32)
- Notably, all 4 patients progressed to severe illness that occurred in the control group
- 2 patients with mild adverse reactions in the HCQ treatment group
Significance: Among patients with COVID-19, the use of HCQ could significantly shorten TTCR and promote the absorption of pneumonia.