Abd-Elsalam 2020: Hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of COVID-19: a multicenter randomized controlled study

American Journal of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene. 103(4), pp. 1635-1639

From the chart, you might think that the authors would  have concluded that HCQ (Hydroxychloroquine) is a useful treatment for Covid-19, but according to their statistical analysis, they actually concluded it was not beneficial.

This was a study on 194 patients admitted to one of several hospitals in Egypt with Covid-19 symptoms.  Although they were defined as “mild, moderate, or severe,” according to WHO definitions, one must assume even the “mild” cases were already pretty sick based on the simple fact that they were in the hospital for at least 15 days during the time of treatment.  Thus, the results are not indicative of whether or not HCQ may be useful as an early outpatient treatment. 

The CONTROL GROUP received standard care which was basically Tylenol, with fluids, oxygen, Tamiflu, antibiotic, and/or a ventilator used as needed.  The HCQ GROUP was given the same standard care treatment plus a first-day dose of 400 mg HCQ (twice) followed by 200 mg HCQ twice daily for 15 days.  Apparently, neither zinc, nor any vitamin was given to either group.

It is interesting that this paper was published after the FDA had already withdrawn its earlier emergency use authorization for HCQ.  The authors conclude that this study “adds extra evidence from Egypt that HCQ may not be beneficial as a treatment for COVID-19.”

MedLine || Full Text

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