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Ann Intern Med ; 173(8): 623-631, 2020 10 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-981646


BACKGROUND: No effective oral therapy exists for early coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether hydroxychloroquine could reduce COVID-19 severity in adult outpatients. DESIGN: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial conducted from 22 March through 20 May 2020. ( NCT04308668). SETTING: Internet-based trial across the United States and Canada (40 states and 3 provinces). PARTICIPANTS: Symptomatic, nonhospitalized adults with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 or probable COVID-19 and high-risk exposure within 4 days of symptom onset. INTERVENTION: Oral hydroxychloroquine (800 mg once, followed by 600 mg in 6 to 8 hours, then 600 mg daily for 4 more days) or masked placebo. MEASUREMENTS: Symptoms and severity at baseline and then at days 3, 5, 10, and 14 using a 10-point visual analogue scale. The primary end point was change in overall symptom severity over 14 days. RESULTS: Of 491 patients randomly assigned to a group, 423 contributed primary end point data. Of these, 341 (81%) had laboratory-confirmed infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) or epidemiologically linked exposure to a person with laboratory-confirmed infection; 56% (236 of 423) were enrolled within 1 day of symptoms starting. Change in symptom severity over 14 days did not differ between the hydroxychloroquine and placebo groups (difference in symptom severity: relative, 12%; absolute, -0.27 point [95% CI, -0.61 to 0.07 point]; P = 0.117). At 14 days, 24% (49 of 201) of participants receiving hydroxychloroquine had ongoing symptoms compared with 30% (59 of 194) receiving placebo (P = 0.21). Medication adverse effects occurred in 43% (92 of 212) of participants receiving hydroxychloroquine versus 22% (46 of 211) receiving placebo (P < 0.001). With placebo, 10 hospitalizations occurred (2 non-COVID-19-related), including 1 hospitalized death. With hydroxychloroquine, 4 hospitalizations occurred plus 1 nonhospitalized death (P = 0.29). LIMITATION: Only 58% of participants received SARS-CoV-2 testing because of severe U.S. testing shortages. CONCLUSION: Hydroxychloroquine did not substantially reduce symptom severity in outpatients with early, mild COVID-19. PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE: Private donors.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Outpatients , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Adult , Antimalarials/therapeutic use , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Double-Blind Method , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 7(11): ofaa500, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-873054


BACKGROUND: Use of hydroxychloroquine in hospitalized patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), especially in combination with azithromycin, has raised safety concerns. Here, we report safety data from 3 outpatient randomized clinical trials. METHODS: We conducted 3 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials investigating hydroxychloroquine as pre-exposure prophylaxis, postexposure prophylaxis, and early treatment for COVID-19 using an internet-based design. We excluded individuals with contraindications to hydroxychloroquine. We collected side effects and serious adverse events. We report descriptive analyses of our findings. RESULTS: We enrolled 2795 participants. The median age of research participants (interquartile range) was 40 (34-49) years, and 59% (1633/2767) reported no chronic medical conditions. Overall 2544 (91%) participants reported side effect data, and 748 (29%) reported at least 1 medication side effect. Side effects were reported in 40% with once-daily, 36% with twice-weekly, 31% with once-weekly hydroxychloroquine, compared with 19% with placebo. The most common side effects were upset stomach or nausea (25% with once-daily, 19% with twice-weekly, and 18% with once-weekly hydroxychloroquine, vs 11% for placebo), followed by diarrhea, vomiting, or abdominal pain (23% for once-daily, 17% twice-weekly, and 13% once-weekly hydroxychloroquine, vs 7% for placebo). Two individuals were hospitalized for atrial arrhythmias, 1 on placebo and 1 on twice-weekly hydroxychloroquine. No sudden deaths occurred. CONCLUSIONS: Data from 3 outpatient COVID-19 trials demonstrated that gastrointestinal side effects were common but mild with the use of hydroxychloroquine, while serious side effects were rare. No deaths occurred related to hydroxychloroquine. Randomized clinical trials, in cohorts of healthy outpatients, can safely investigate whether hydroxychloroquine is efficacious for COVID-19. CLINICALTRIALSGOV IDENTIFIER: NCT04308668 for postexposure prophylaxis and early treatment trials; NCT04328467 for pre-exposure prophylaxis trial.

Open Forum Infect Dis ; 7(7): ofaa271, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-632358


BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a novel pathogen causing the current worldwide coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Due to insufficient diagnostic testing in the United States, there is a need for clinical decision-making algorithms to guide testing prioritization. METHODS: We recruited participants nationwide for a randomized clinical trial. We categorized participants into 3 groups: (1) those with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, (2) those with probable SARS-CoV-2 infection (pending test or not tested but with a confirmed COVID-19 contact), and (3) those with possible SARS-CoV-2 infection (pending test or not tested and with a contact for whom testing was pending or not performed). We compared the frequency of self-reported symptoms in each group and categorized those reporting symptoms in early infection (0-2 days), midinfection (3-5 days), and late infection (>5 days). RESULTS: Among 1252 symptomatic persons screened, 316 had confirmed, 393 had probable, and 543 had possible SARS-CoV-2 infection. In early infection, those with confirmed and probable SARS-CoV-2 infection shared similar symptom profiles, with fever most likely in confirmed cases (P = .002). Confirmed cases did not show any statistically significant differences compared with unconfirmed cases in symptom frequency at any time point. The most commonly reported symptoms in those with confirmed infection were cough (82%), fever (67%), fatigue (62%), and headache (60%), with only 52% reporting both fever and cough. CONCLUSIONS: Symptomatic persons with probable SARS-CoV-2 infection present similarly to those with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. There was no pattern of symptom frequency over time.

N Engl J Med ; 383(6): 517-525, 2020 08 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-505858


BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) occurs after exposure to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). For persons who are exposed, the standard of care is observation and quarantine. Whether hydroxychloroquine can prevent symptomatic infection after SARS-CoV-2 exposure is unknown. METHODS: We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial across the United States and parts of Canada testing hydroxychloroquine as postexposure prophylaxis. We enrolled adults who had household or occupational exposure to someone with confirmed Covid-19 at a distance of less than 6 ft for more than 10 minutes while wearing neither a face mask nor an eye shield (high-risk exposure) or while wearing a face mask but no eye shield (moderate-risk exposure). Within 4 days after exposure, we randomly assigned participants to receive either placebo or hydroxychloroquine (800 mg once, followed by 600 mg in 6 to 8 hours, then 600 mg daily for 4 additional days). The primary outcome was the incidence of either laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 or illness compatible with Covid-19 within 14 days. RESULTS: We enrolled 821 asymptomatic participants. Overall, 87.6% of the participants (719 of 821) reported a high-risk exposure to a confirmed Covid-19 contact. The incidence of new illness compatible with Covid-19 did not differ significantly between participants receiving hydroxychloroquine (49 of 414 [11.8%]) and those receiving placebo (58 of 407 [14.3%]); the absolute difference was -2.4 percentage points (95% confidence interval, -7.0 to 2.2; P = 0.35). Side effects were more common with hydroxychloroquine than with placebo (40.1% vs. 16.8%), but no serious adverse reactions were reported. CONCLUSIONS: After high-risk or moderate-risk exposure to Covid-19, hydroxychloroquine did not prevent illness compatible with Covid-19 or confirmed infection when used as postexposure prophylaxis within 4 days after exposure. (Funded by David Baszucki and Jan Ellison Baszucki and others; number, NCT04308668.).

Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Post-Exposure Prophylaxis , Adult , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Canada , Double-Blind Method , Female , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/adverse effects , Inhalation Exposure , Male , Middle Aged , Occupational Exposure , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Failure , United States
Can J Anaesth ; 67(9): 1201-1211, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-275845


BACKGROUND: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in December 2019 causing the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Currently, there is a lack of evidence-based therapies to prevent COVID-19 following exposure to the virus, or to prevent worsening of symptoms following confirmed infection. We describe the design of a clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) and pre-emptive therapy (PET) for COVID-19. METHODS: We will conduct two nested multicentre international double-blind randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine for: 1) PEP of asymptomatic household contacts or healthcare workers exposed to COVID-19 within the past four days, and 2) PET for symptomatic outpatients with COVID-19 showing symptoms for less than four days. We will recruit 1,500 patients each for the PEP and PET trials. Participants will be randomized 1:1 to receive five days of hydroxychloroquine or placebo. The primary PEP trial outcome will be the incidence of symptomatic COVID-19. The primary PET trial outcome will be an ordinal scale of disease severity (not hospitalized, hospitalized without intensive care, hospitalization with intensive care, or death). Participant screening, informed consent, and follow-up will be exclusively internet-based with appropriate regulatory and research ethics board approvals in Canada and the United States. DISCUSSION: These complementary randomized-controlled trials are innovatively designed and adequately powered to rapidly answer urgent questions regarding the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine to reduce virus transmission and disease severity of COVID-19 during a pandemic. In-person participant follow-up will not be conducted to facilitate social distancing strategies and reduce risks of exposure to study personnel. Innovative trial approaches are needed to urgently assess therapeutic options to mitigate the global impact of this pandemic. TRIALS REGISTRATION: (NCT04308668); registered 16 March, 2020.

RéSUMé: CONTEXTE: Le syndrome respiratoire aigu sévère du coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) est apparu en décembre 2019, provoquant la pandémie de la COVID-19. À l'heure actuelle, il n'existe aucun traitement fondé sur des données probantes permettant de prévenir la COVID-19 suite à une exposition au virus ou de prévenir l'aggravation des symptômes suite à une infection confirmée. Nous décrivons la conception d'une étude clinique examinant l'utilisation d'hydroxychloroquine en tant que prophylaxie post-exposition (PPE) et de traitement préventif (TP) pour la COVID-19. MéTHODE: Nous réaliserons deux études cliniques imbriquées contrôlées par placebo, randomisées, à double insu, internationales et multicentriques examinant l'utilisation d'hydroxychloroquine pour : 1) la prophylaxie post-exposition des contacts asymptomatiques dans un même foyer ou les travailleurs de la santé exposés à la COVID-19 au cours des quatre derniers jours, et 2) le traitement préventif des patients symptomatiques en ambulatoire atteints de COVID-19 et présentant des symptômes pour une durée totale de moins de quatre jours. Nous recruterons 1500 patients pour chaque bras de l'étude (PPE et TP). Les participants seront randomisés à un ratio de 1 : 1 pour recevoir cinq jours d'hydroxychloroquine ou de placebo. Le critère d'évaluation principal de l'étude PPE sera l'incidence de COVID-19 symptomatique. Le critère d'évaluation principal de l'étude TP consistera en une échelle ordinale de la gravité de la maladie (pas d'hospitalisation, hospitalisation sans soins intensifs, hospitalisation avec soins intensifs, ou décès). La sélection des participants, le consentement éclairé et le suivi se feront exclusivement en ligne après avoir obtenu les consentements réglementaires et des comités d'éthique de la recherche appropriés au Canada et aux États-Unis. DISCUSSION: Ces études randomisées contrôlées complémentaires sont conçues de façon innovatrice et disposent de la puissance nécessaire pour répondre rapidement aux questions urgentes quant à l'efficacité de l'hydroxychloroquine pour réduire la transmission et la gravité de la maladie de la COVID-19 pendant une pandémie. Le suivi des participants ne sera pas réalisé en personne afin de faciliter les stratégies de distanciation sociale et de réduire le risque d'exposition du personnel de l'étude. Des approches innovatrices d'études sont nécessaires afin d'évaluer rapidement les options thérapeutiques pour mitiger l'impact global de cette pandémie. ENREGISTREMENT DE L'éTUDE: (NCT04308668); enregistrées le 16 mars 2020.

Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Hydroxychloroquine/administration & dosage , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Post-Exposure Prophylaxis/methods , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Double-Blind Method , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index