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Saudi Pharm J ; 30(7): 964-970, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1914731


Background: The drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is widely used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and has been repurposed for the treatment of COVID-19. This study aims to determine whether HCQ concentration levels in individuals with RA alter the incidence of COVID-19 or its complications. Methods: We collected plasma samples from 13 individuals with confirmed rheumatoid arthritis (RA) to measure HCQ concentration levels. The study included individuals at least 18 years old who had been taking HCQ for at least six months at daily doses ranging from 200 to 400 mg. Results: The study enrolled a total of 13 RA patients. All patients were chronic HCQ users. Among the 13 patients, 7 patients were receiving HCQ at a dose of 200 mg per day, and 6 patients were receiving HCQ at a dose of 400 mg per day. COVID-19 confirmed cases accounted for approximately 46% of all patients. Half of the infected patients (n = 3) were taking a daily dose of 200 mg daily, while the other half were taking 400 mg daily. COVID-19 symptoms ranged from mild to moderate, and the intensity of the symptoms was not severe enough to necessitate hospitalization. COVID-19 symptoms in RA patients included headache, fever, fatigue, dry cough, and loss of taste or smell. Conclusions: Our findings indicated that there was no correlation between HCQ concentrations in rheumatoid arthritis patients and the occurrence of COVID-19 or its complications.