This report reviews the current scientific evidence on the potential benefits and harms of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19. A total of four trials were identified — three treatment trials and one prevention trial. The evidence available at this time is limited in both quantity and quality, with some of the studies terminated early due to safety concerns. However, CADTH will continue to update this report as more evidence becomes available.

On October 15, 2020, interim study results from the World Health Organization’s Solidarity Trial were released in pre-print (ISRCTN83971151). The Solidarity Trial is a large, international, adaptive, open-label, randomized controlled trial launched by the World Health Organization and other partners to evaluate several treatments for COVID-19. The interim results report on the findings of four separate treatments compared with local standard of care in hospitalized patients with COVID-19: remdesivir, lopinavir and ritonavir, interferon beta-1a, and hydroxychloroquine. The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality. The intention-to-treat analyses included 11,255 patients enrolled from 405 hospitals in 30 countries, including Canada. No treatment had a statistically significant reduction in 28-day in-hospital mortality compared with its control. Caution should be exercised in interpreting any interim study results. In addition, pre-print reports have not been peer-reviewed. Publication of full study results in a peer-reviewed journal are pending.

CADTH will include the results of the Solidarity Trial in the next update of the Health Technology Review on hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine when it is reported in a peer-reviewed publication.

Link to Report

Chloroquine or Hydroxychloroquine to Prevent or Treat COVID-19

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