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J Family Med Prim Care ; 10(3): 1124-1133, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1218670


SARS-CoV-2 is a novel virus that has infected millions of people across the world. Given the compelling need to develop a therapeutic strategy, hydroxychloroquine has been advocated as an effective drug for the infection. However, multiple clinical trials conducted using hydroxychloroquine have yielded contrasting results. An electronic search using the primary databases from WHO, PubMed and Google Scholar was performed that yielded 21 studies eligible for inclusion. Among a total of 1,350 patients who received hydroxychloroquine, 689 (51.04%) were females. The most commonly reported comorbidities include hypertension (15.18%), diabetes mellitus (8.44%) and pulmonary disease (8.96%). Of the hydroxychloroquine-treated patients, 70% were virologically cured compared to 12.5% of the control group (p = 0.001). A good clinical outcome with virological cure was reported in 973 patients (91%) within 10 days out of 1,061 hydroxychloroquine-treated patients. A total of 29 (65%) renal transplant recipients achieved complete recovery following hydroxychloroquine administration. A total of 37 (2.7%) patients reported QT prolongation. Hydroxychloroquine was found to reduce mortality in healthy, SARS-Cov-2 positive patients and improve clinical recovery in renal transplant recipients. However, a definitive conclusion regarding its effect on viral clearance can only be reached by conducting more clinical trials involving bigger and diverse samples.