2020 - Hydroxychloroquine with or without Azithromycin in Mild-to-Moderate Covid-19

new england journal medicine 2020

Authors: Alexandre B Cavalcanti, Fernando G Zampieri, Regis G Rosa, Luciano C P Azevedo, Viviane C Veiga, Alvaro Avezum, Lucas P Damiani, Aline Marcadenti, Letícia Kawano-Dourado, Thiago Lisboa, Debora L M Junqueira, Pedro G M de Barros E Silva, Lucas Tramujas, Erlon O Abreu-Silva, Ligia N Laranjeira, Aline T Soares, Leandro S Echenique, Adriano J Pereira, Flávio G R Freitas, Otávio C E Gebara, Vicente C S Dantas, Remo H M Furtado, Eveline P Milan, Nicole A Golin, Fábio F Cardoso, Israel S Maia, Conrado R Hoffmann Filho, Adrian P M Kormann, Roberto B Amazonas, Monalisa F Bocchi de Oliveira, Ary Serpa-Neto, Maicon Falavigna, Renato D Lopes, Flávia R Machado, Otavio Berwanger, for the Coalition Covid-19 Brazil I Investigators.

Abstract 

BACKGROUND

Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin have been used to treat patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). However, evidence on the safety and efficacy of these therapies is limited.

METHODS

We conducted a multicenter, randomized, open-label, three-group, controlled trial involving hospitalized patients with suspected or confirmed Covid-19 who were receiving either no supplemental oxygen or a maximum of 4 liters per minute of supplemental oxygen. Patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1:1 ratio to receive standard care, standard care plus hydroxychloroquine at a dose of 400 mg twice daily, or standard care plus hydroxychloroquine at a dose of 400 mg twice daily plus azithromycin at a dose of 500 mg once daily for 7 days. The primary outcome was clinical status at 15 days as assessed with the use of a seven-level ordinal scale (with levels ranging from one to seven and higher scores indicating a worse condition) in the modified intention-to-treat population (patients with a confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19). Safety was also assessed.

RESULTS

A total of 667 patients underwent randomization; 504 patients had confirmed Covid-19 and were included in the modified intention-to-treat analysis. As compared with standard care, the proportional odds of having a higher score on the seven-point ordinal scale at 15 days was not affected by either hydroxychloroquine alone (odds ratio, 1.21; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.69 to 2.11; P=1.00) or hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin (odds ratio, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.57 to 1.73; P=1.00). Prolongation of the corrected QT interval and elevation of liver-enzyme levels were more frequent in patients receiving hydroxychloroquine, alone or with azithromycin, than in those who were not receiving either agent.

CONCLUSIONS

Among patients hospitalized with mild-to-moderate Covid-19, the use of hydroxychloroquine, alone or with azithromycin, did not improve clinical status at 15 days as compared with standard care. (Funded by the Coalition Covid-19 Brazil and EMS Pharma; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04322123..)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2019014

 

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