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Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin as a treatment of COVID-19? Results of an open-label non-randomized clinical trial

Background

Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have been found to
be efficient on SARS-CoV-2, and reported to be efficient in Chinese COV-19
patients. We evaluate the role of hydroxychloroquine on respiratory viral
loads.

Patients and methods

French Confirmed COVID-19 patients were included in a
single arm protocol from early March to March 16th, to receive
600mg
of hydroxychloroquine daily and their viral load in nasopharyngeal swabs was
tested daily in a hospital setting. Depending on their clinical presentation,
azithromycin was added to the treatment. Untreated patients from another center
and cases refusing the protocol were included as negative controls. Presence
and absence of virus at Day6-post inclusion was considered the end point.

Results

Six patients were asymptomatic, 22 had upper
respiratory tract infection symptoms and eight had lower respiratory tract
infection symptoms.

Twenty cases were treated in this study and showed a
significant reduction of the viral carriage at D6-post inclusion compared to
controls, and much lower average carrying duration than reported of untreated
patients in the literature. Azithromycin added to hydroxychloroquine was
significantly more efficient for virus elimination.

Conclusion

Despite its small sample size our survey shows that
hydroxychloroquine treatment is significantly associated with viral load
reduction/disappearance in COVID-19 patients and its effect is reinforced by
azithromycin.




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