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1.
Clin Pharmacol Ther ; 2022 May 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1858580

ABSTRACT

Chloroquine and azithromycin were developed in combination for the preventive treatment of malaria in pregnancy, and more recently were proposed as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) treatment options. Billions of doses of chloroquine have been administered worldwide over the past 70 years but concerns regarding cardiotoxicity, notably the risk of torsades de pointes (TdP), remain. This investigation aimed to characterize the pharmacokinetics and electrocardiographic effects of chloroquine and azithromycin observed in a large previously conducted healthy volunteer study. Healthy adult volunteers (n = 119) were randomized into 5 arms: placebo, chloroquine alone (600 mg base), or chloroquine with either 500 mg, 1,000 mg, or 1,500 mg of azithromycin all given daily for 3 days. Chloroquine and azithromycin levels, measured using liquid-chromatography tandem mass spectrometry, and electrocardiograph intervals were recorded at frequent intervals. Time-matched changes in the PR, QRS, and heart rate-corrected JT, and QT intervals were calculated and the relationship with plasma concentrations was evaluated using linear and nonlinear mixed-effects modeling. Chloroquine and azithromycin pharmacokinetics were described satisfactorily by two- and three-compartment distribution models, respectively. No drug-drug interaction between chloroquine and azithromycin was observed. Chloroquine resulted in concentration-dependent prolongation of the PR, QRS, JTc and QTc intervals with a minimal additional effect of azithromycin. QRS widening contributed ~ 28% of the observed QT prolongation. Chloroquine causes significant concentration-dependent delays in both ventricular depolarization and repolarization. Co-administration of azithromycin did not significantly increase these effects. The arrhythmogenic risk of TdP associated with chloroquine may have been substantially overestimated in studies which did not separate electrocardiograph QRS and JT prolongation.

3.
Pharmacol Res Perspect ; 9(1): e00712, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1482163

ABSTRACT

Mass drug administration of ivermectin has been proposed as a possible malaria elimination tool. Ivermectin exhibits a mosquito-lethal effect well beyond its biological half-life, suggesting the presence of active slowly eliminated metabolites. Human liver microsomes, primary human hepatocytes, and whole blood from healthy volunteers given oral ivermectin were used to identify ivermectin metabolites by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled with high-resolution mass spectrometry. The molecular structures of metabolites were determined by mass spectrometry and verified by nuclear magnetic resonance. Pure cytochrome P450 enzyme isoforms were used to elucidate the metabolic pathways. Thirteen different metabolites (M1-M13) were identified after incubation of ivermectin with human liver microsomes. Three (M1, M3, and M6) were the major metabolites found in microsomes, hepatocytes, and blood from volunteers after oral ivermectin administration. The chemical structure, defined by LC-MS/MS and NMR, indicated that M1 is 3″-O-demethyl ivermectin, M3 is 4-hydroxymethyl ivermectin, and M6 is 3″-O-demethyl, 4-hydroxymethyl ivermectin. Metabolic pathway evaluations with characterized cytochrome P450 enzymes showed that M1, M3, and M6 were produced primarily by CYP3A4, and that M1 was also produced to a small extent by CYP3A5. Demethylated (M1) and hydroxylated (M3) ivermectin were the main human in vivo metabolites. Further studies are needed to characterize the pharmacokinetic properties and mosquito-lethal activity of these metabolites.


Subject(s)
Antiparasitic Agents/pharmacokinetics , Ivermectin/pharmacokinetics , Administration, Oral , Antiparasitic Agents/blood , Antiparasitic Agents/pharmacology , Cells, Cultured , Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System/metabolism , Demethylation , Hepatocytes/metabolism , Humans , Hydroxylation , Ivermectin/blood , Ivermectin/pharmacology , Metabolic Networks and Pathways , Microsomes, Liver/metabolism
4.
PLoS Med ; 18(9): e1003766, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470656

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Amodiaquine is a 4-aminoquinoline antimalarial similar to chloroquine that is used extensively for the treatment and prevention of malaria. Data on the cardiovascular effects of amodiaquine are scarce, although transient effects on cardiac electrophysiology (electrocardiographic QT interval prolongation and sinus bradycardia) have been observed. We conducted an individual patient data meta-analysis to characterise the cardiovascular effects of amodiaquine and thereby support development of risk minimisation measures to improve the safety of this important antimalarial. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Studies of amodiaquine for the treatment or prevention of malaria were identified from a systematic review. Heart rates and QT intervals with study-specific heart rate correction (QTcS) were compared within studies and individual patient data pooled for multivariable linear mixed effects regression. The meta-analysis included 2,681 patients from 4 randomised controlled trials evaluating artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) containing amodiaquine (n = 725), lumefantrine (n = 499), piperaquine (n = 716), and pyronaridine (n = 566), as well as monotherapy with chloroquine (n = 175) for uncomplicated malaria. Amodiaquine prolonged QTcS (mean = 16.9 ms, 95% CI: 15.0 to 18.8) less than chloroquine (21.9 ms, 18.3 to 25.6, p = 0.0069) and piperaquine (19.2 ms, 15.8 to 20.5, p = 0.0495), but more than lumefantrine (5.6 ms, 2.9 to 8.2, p < 0.001) and pyronaridine (-1.2 ms, -3.6 to +1.3, p < 0.001). In individuals aged ≥12 years, amodiaquine reduced heart rate (mean reduction = 15.2 beats per minute [bpm], 95% CI: 13.4 to 17.0) more than piperaquine (10.5 bpm, 7.7 to 13.3, p = 0.0013), lumefantrine (9.3 bpm, 6.4 to 12.2, p < 0.001), pyronaridine (6.6 bpm, 4.0 to 9.3, p < 0.001), and chloroquine (5.9 bpm, 3.2 to 8.5, p < 0.001) and was associated with a higher risk of potentially symptomatic sinus bradycardia (≤50 bpm) than lumefantrine (risk difference: 14.8%, 95% CI: 5.4 to 24.3, p = 0.0021) and chloroquine (risk difference: 8.0%, 95% CI: 4.0 to 12.0, p < 0.001). The effect of amodiaquine on the heart rate of children aged <12 years compared with other antimalarials was not clinically significant. Study limitations include the unavailability of individual patient-level adverse event data for most included participants, but no serious complications were documented. CONCLUSIONS: While caution is advised in the use of amodiaquine in patients aged ≥12 years with concomitant use of heart rate-reducing medications, serious cardiac conduction disorders, or risk factors for torsade de pointes, there have been no serious cardiovascular events reported after amodiaquine in widespread use over 7 decades. Amodiaquine and structurally related antimalarials in the World Health Organization (WHO)-recommended dose regimens alone or in ACTs are safe for the treatment and prevention of malaria.


Subject(s)
Amodiaquine/adverse effects , Antimalarials/adverse effects , Bradycardia/chemically induced , Heart Conduction System/drug effects , Heart Rate/drug effects , Long QT Syndrome/chemically induced , Adolescent , Adult , Bradycardia/diagnosis , Bradycardia/physiopathology , Cardiotoxicity , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Heart Conduction System/physiopathology , Humans , Infant , Long QT Syndrome/diagnosis , Long QT Syndrome/physiopathology , Male , Middle Aged , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , Young Adult
5.
Lancet ; 398(10295): 118, 2021 07 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1301081
6.
R Soc Open Sci ; 8(4): 210235, 2021 Apr 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1231061

ABSTRACT

Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), the hydroxyl derivative of chloroquine (CQ), is widely used in the treatment of rheumatological conditions (systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis) and is being studied for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19. Here, we investigate through mathematical modelling the safety profile of HCQ, CQ and other QT-prolonging anti-infective agents to determine their risk categories for Torsade de Pointes (TdP) arrhythmia. We performed safety modelling with uncertainty quantification using a risk classifier based on the qNet torsade metric score, a measure of the net charge carried by major currents during the action potential under inhibition of multiple ion channels by a compound. Modelling results for HCQ at a maximum free therapeutic plasma concentration (free C max) of approximately 1.2 µM (malaria dosing) indicated it is most likely to be in the high-intermediate-risk category for TdP, whereas CQ at a free C max of approximately 0.7 µM was predicted to most likely lie in the intermediate-risk category. Combining HCQ with the antibacterial moxifloxacin or the anti-malarial halofantrine (HAL) increased the degree of human ventricular action potential duration prolongation at some or all concentrations investigated, and was predicted to increase risk compared to HCQ alone. The combination of HCQ/HAL was predicted to be the riskiest for the free C max values investigated, whereas azithromycin administered individually was predicted to pose the lowest risk. Our simulation approach highlights that the torsadogenic potentials of HCQ, CQ and other QT-prolonging anti-infectives used in COVID-19 prevention and treatment increase with concentration and in combination with other QT-prolonging drugs.

7.
Int J Infect Dis ; 107: 31-33, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1201294
9.
Expert Opin Pharmacother ; 22(10): 1257-1266, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1135766

ABSTRACT

Introduction: The 4-aminoquinolines, chloroquine, and hydroxychloroquine have been used for over 70 years for malaria and rheumatological conditions, respectively. Their broad-spectrum antiviral activity, excellent safety profile, tolerability, low cost, and ready availability made them prime repurposing therapeutic candidates at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.Areas covered: Here, the authors discuss the history of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, the in vitro data which led to their widespread repurposing and adoption in COVID-19 and their complex pharmacokinetics. The evidence for the use of these drugs is assessed through in vivo animal experiments and the wealth of conflicting data and interpretations published during COVID-19, including the more informative results from randomized controlled trials (RCTs). The safety aspects of these drugs, in particular cardiotoxicity, are then reviewed.Expert opinion: The evidence from clinical trials in COVID-19 supports the well-established safety record of the 4-aminoquinolines at currently recommended dosage. In hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19 RCTs show clearly that the 4-aminoquinolines are not beneficial. The only treatments with proven benefit at this stage of infection are immunomodulators (dexamethasone, IL-6 receptor antagonists). No antiviral drugs have proven life-saving in late-stage COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hydroxychloroquine , Animals , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
10.
N Engl J Med ; 383(21): 2030-2040, 2020 Nov 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-990092

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine have been proposed as treatments for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) on the basis of in vitro activity and data from uncontrolled studies and small, randomized trials. METHODS: In this randomized, controlled, open-label platform trial comparing a range of possible treatments with usual care in patients hospitalized with Covid-19, we randomly assigned 1561 patients to receive hydroxychloroquine and 3155 to receive usual care. The primary outcome was 28-day mortality. RESULTS: The enrollment of patients in the hydroxychloroquine group was closed on June 5, 2020, after an interim analysis determined that there was a lack of efficacy. Death within 28 days occurred in 421 patients (27.0%) in the hydroxychloroquine group and in 790 (25.0%) in the usual-care group (rate ratio, 1.09; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.97 to 1.23; P = 0.15). Consistent results were seen in all prespecified subgroups of patients. The results suggest that patients in the hydroxychloroquine group were less likely to be discharged from the hospital alive within 28 days than those in the usual-care group (59.6% vs. 62.9%; rate ratio, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.83 to 0.98). Among the patients who were not undergoing mechanical ventilation at baseline, those in the hydroxychloroquine group had a higher frequency of invasive mechanical ventilation or death (30.7% vs. 26.9%; risk ratio, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.03 to 1.27). There was a small numerical excess of cardiac deaths (0.4 percentage points) but no difference in the incidence of new major cardiac arrhythmia among the patients who received hydroxychloroquine. CONCLUSIONS: Among patients hospitalized with Covid-19, those who received hydroxychloroquine did not have a lower incidence of death at 28 days than those who received usual care. (Funded by UK Research and Innovation and National Institute for Health Research and others; RECOVERY ISRCTN number, ISRCTN50189673; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04381936.).


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antiviral Agents/adverse effects , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/adverse effects , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Respiration, Artificial , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Failure
13.
Elife ; 92020 07 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-636307

ABSTRACT

Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are used extensively in malaria and rheumatological conditions, and now in COVID-19 prevention and treatment. Although generally safe they are potentially lethal in overdose. In-vitro data suggest that high concentrations and thus high doses are needed for COVID-19 infections, but as yet there is no convincing evidence of clinical efficacy. Bayesian regression models were fitted to survival outcomes and electrocardiograph QRS durations from 302 prospectively studied French patients who had taken intentional chloroquine overdoses, of whom 33 died (11%), and 16 healthy volunteers who took 620 mg base chloroquine single doses. Whole blood concentrations of 13.5 µmol/L (95% credible interval 10.1-17.7) were associated with 1% mortality. Prolongation of ventricular depolarization is concentration-dependent with a QRS duration >150 msec independently highly predictive of mortality in chloroquine self-poisoning. Pharmacokinetic modeling predicts that most high dose regimens trialled in COVID-19 are unlikely to cause serious cardiovascular toxicity.


Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are closely-related drugs used for the treatment of malaria and rheumatological conditions, such as lupus. Laboratory tests have indicated that these drugs could also be used against the virus that causes COVID-19. Given the urgent need, these drugs have been fast-tracked into large-scale clinical trials, bypassing the usual stages that would provide estimates for suitable dosage. The dosage is a critical factor in a clinical trial: too low and the drug will not have an effect, too high and the side effects may counteract any potential benefits. Laboratory tests suggest that higher doses of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine are needed for treating COVID-19 compared to malaria or lupus. However, there are concerns about the high doses used in some trials, as the drugs can have lethal side effects. Indeed, chloroquine has been used extensively in suicide attempts, particularly in France. To address these concerns, Watson et al. set out to determine the highest dosage of chloroquine (and thus of hydroxychloroquine, approximately) that does not cause unacceptable side effects. First, data was analysed regarding the concentration of chloroquine in the blood of 302 patients who had intentionally overdosed on the drug, since this concentration is tightly correlated with their risk of death. Watson et al. used a statistical model to calculate the maximal chloroquine concentration in a person's blood associated with a one per cent risk of death. This is taken to be the threshold above which any potential benefit of chloroquine treatment would be outweighed by the possibility of lethal toxicity. Watson et al. also estimated the relationship between chloroquine concentrations and changes in electrocardiogram patterns, which record the electrical activity of the heart. This makes it possible to determine whether a high dose of chloroquine has led to dangerous levels in the blood. Using a mathematical model of how chloroquine is metabolised, Watson et al. predicted that most of the trials that tested chloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 did not reach the calculated threshold concentration. An exception was the CloroCovid-19 trial in Brazil, which was stopped early because people in the higher dosage group suffered more heart problems and died in greater numbers than those in the lower dosage group. Two large randomised trials, RECOVERY and SOLIDARITY, have shown no benefit of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine in the treatment of COVID-19, changing clinical practice worldwide. Both of these trials used high doses resulting in higher hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine concentrations than normally observed in the treatment of malaria or rheumatological conditions. The results from Watson et al demonstrate that the lack of benefit seen in these two large clinical trials is not due to the drug dosage being too high.


Subject(s)
Chloroquine/poisoning , Drug Overdose/mortality , Suicide, Attempted , Suicide , Adult , Antimalarials/administration & dosage , Antimalarials/poisoning , Antimalarials/therapeutic use , Biotransformation , COVID-19 , Chloroquine/administration & dosage , Chloroquine/adverse effects , Chloroquine/analogs & derivatives , Chloroquine/blood , Chloroquine/therapeutic use , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Drug Repositioning , Electrocardiography , Female , Heart Diseases/chemically induced , Heart Diseases/mortality , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/administration & dosage , Hydroxychloroquine/adverse effects , Hydroxychloroquine/poisoning , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Long QT Syndrome/chemically induced , Malaria/drug therapy , Male , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic/statistics & numerical data , Risk Assessment
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