A small double-blind, placebo-controlled study in China has shown there may be promise in the use of hydroxychloroquine in patients with COVID-19. The researchers randomized 62 people with early COVID-19 infection into two groups. The control group received placebo, and the treatment group received 200 mg of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) twice daily for 5 days. Time to clinical recovery (TTCR), clinical characteristics, and radiological results were assessed at baseline and at the end of the study period. Body temperature recovery time and cough remission time were significantly shorter in the HCQ group. Four out of 31 patients in the control group progressed to severe illness, while none of the subjects in the HCQ group did. In addition, a larger proportion of patients with pneumonia in the HCQ group showed improvement compared with the control group (81% vs 55%). The authors concluded that the use of HCQ could significantly shorten TTCR and promote the absorption of pneumonia. The study was conducted at Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University. Please note that hydroxychloroquine is likely to be in short supply in the U.S. at this time, especially in outpatient pharmacies.
New Data Support Effectiveness of Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19