Patients hospitalized for Covid-19 and treated with hydroxychloroquine have a higher probability of being returned home a month after the start of treatment, according to a French study, which concluded that in contrast to the lack of effectiveness to reduce mortality.
“Exit rates of hospitalization, significantly higher levels were observed in patients treated with hydroxychloroquine”, the study concludes online Saturday, but not yet published.
The rate of patients who returned to their home 28 days after the start of treatment is higher by 11 points to those who have not received the drug, a derivative of the antimalarial drug chloroquine and is usually used to treat autoimmune diseases such as lupus.
This represents a relative increase of 25% of the probability to be released from hospitalization, the study says.
This result, which had not been highlighted in previous research on hydroxychloroquine, “deserves to be replicated in other studies of large-scale” to be confirmed, pointed to one of the authors, Emilia Sbidian, questioned by the AFP.
The study concludes that in contrast to “the absence of a statistically significant difference in mortality at 28 days” among the patients who received hydroxychloroquine group and the control group, “after taking into account confounding factors”.
Those who received the antibiotic azithromycin, in addition to the hydroxychloroquine, the study observes no difference in the exit rates of hospitalization and “a possible excess risk of mortality”.
The researchers analyzed the medical records of approximately 4 642 patients hospitalized for Covid-19 in one of the 39 hospitals the AP-HP between 1 February and 6 April.
They excluded those who had received another drug currently being tested against the sars coronavirus, as the antiviral remdesivir or immunosuppressive tocilizumab and sarilumab.
The results were adjusted statistically to take account of the “confounding factors”, and in particular the difference in the composition of the three groups.
“Regarding the data of our study, we can thus see that the patients on hydroxychloroquine or hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin exhibited rates of obesity, diabetes, and smoking (bad prognostic factors) highest in the order of 5% to 15%, but they were also much younger than the patients not treated with hydroxychloroquine (in the order of 6 to 8 years younger), this can also greatly affect the results, since the mortality of infection with coronavirus is all the more important that the age is high,”explains Émilie Sbidian.
“It is therefore very important not to stop with the raw results to judge the effectiveness or ineffectiveness” the treatment, adds the researcher, dermatologist at the hospital Henri-Mondor in Créteil.
Authorization of prescription of hydroxychloroquine to the hospital, outside of clinical trials, was withdrawn on 4 may.
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