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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.

J Int Med Res ; 50(4): 3000605221090363, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1779533


OBJECTIVE: Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) has been used during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic because of its reported anti-viral activity. This study examined the association of chronic HCQ use with the incidence and complications of COVID-19. METHODS: This retrospective cohort study included adults with rheumatoid arthritis and/or systemic lupus erythematosus who visited rheumatology clinics in three tertiary hospitals in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia between January 2019 and December 2020. Patients were categorized into two groups based on HCQ use. Data were obtained from the electronic health record and by interviews with patients. The primary study objective was the incidence of COVID-19 and its complications from March 2020 to February 2021. RESULTS: Almost 11% of the study cohort was positive for COVID-19, and the incidence of COVID-19 was similar between HCQ users (11.11%) and nonusers (10.86%). Disease complication rates were similar in the study arms, and they mainly included fever, dry cough, fatigue, and breathing difficulty. CONCLUSIONS: This study revealed no significant association between chronic HCQ use and the incidence of COVID-19, and disease complications were similar in the study arms.

Antirheumatic Agents , Arthritis, Rheumatoid , COVID-19 , Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic , Adult , Antirheumatic Agents/adverse effects , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/complications , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/drug therapy , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/adverse effects , Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/complications , Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/drug therapy , Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies