CMI Highlight: Effect of hydroxychloroquine with or without azithromycin on the mortality of COVID-19 patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without azithromycin have been widely promoted to treat COVID-19 following early in vitro antiviral effects against SARS-CoV-2.
The present systematic review and meta-analysis, which has been also selected for a press release, aimed at assessing whether chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine with or without azithromycin decreased COVID-19 mortality compared to the standard of care.
The results of 25 observational studies, 3 randomised controlled trials and 1 interventional non-randomised study were summarized.
They show that hydroxychloroquine alone is not effective for the treatment of COVID-19 patients and that the combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin increases the risk of mortality, supporting moreover current clinical recommendations such as those of the NIH which do not recommend the use of HCQ alone or in combination with azithromycin for COVID-19 patients.
Authors conclude highlighting that given the great number of studies that have evaluated HCQ alone or in combination, it seems unlikely at this stage that any efficacy will ever emerge, making unnecessary further studies evaluating these molecules.