High-dose chloroquine study stopped due to increase of toxicity and death

April 29, 2020

Results from a study using chloroquine, which is similar hydroxychloroquine, have cast more doubt over the effectiveness of the drug on COVID-19 patients. 

A study in Brazil was halted early this week after patients receiving 600 mgs of chloroquine along with azithromycin, an antibiotic, showed a higher rate of death (39 percent) compared to patients in a low-dose group (15 percent). Patients in the high-dose group also had higher incidences of toxicity (about 19 percent) compared to the low-dose group (11 percent).

Because all of the patients were also taking azithromycin, the researchers said they could not determine the independent toxicity of chloroquine at the higher dose. But they nevertheless stopped the study and recommended that the treatment not be used for COVID-19 patients at the high dose. 

Despite being promoted by President Trump, there is still a lack of conclusive evidence about the effectiveness of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in treating COVID-19 patients. But several other studies are being still being conducted to help determine the safety and efficacy of the anti-malaria drugs on COVID-19. 

Read the Reuters report.