On the basis of in-vitro activity and data from previous trials and studies, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine have emerged as the proposed treatments of COVID-19. However, the clinical outcomes of hydroxychloroquine on hospitalized COVID-19 patients are not known. This study aims to investigate the clinical outcomes of hydroxychloroquine in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

This randomized, open-label, controlled trial included a total of 4,716 patients hospitalized with COVID-19. The patients were randomly assigned to receive hydroxychloroquine or usual-care. The primary outcome of the study was 28-day mortality.

The findings suggested that death within 28 days was reported in 421 patients (27.0%) in the hydroxychloroquine group and in 790 patients (25.0%) in the usual-care group. All the prespecified subgroups of patients showed consistent results. The results suggested that patients in the hydroxychloroquine group were less likely to be discharged from the hospital alive within 28 days compared with those in the usual-care group. Patients who were not undergoing mechanical ventilation at baseline and were in the hydroxychloroquine group had a higher frequency of invasive mechanical ventilation or death.

The research concluded that patients hospitalized for COVID-19 who received hydroxychloroquine did not have a lower incidence of death within 28 days of administration compared with those who received usual care.

Ref: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2022926