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Early Treatment of COVID-19 Patients With HCQ+AZ Shows Benefit, Study Finds

“Over at ScienceDirect, they report on a French ‘retrospective’ study of just over 1,000 patients across all age groups with very good results,” writes long-time Slashdot reader kenh. The analysis found that administration of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and Azithromycin (AZ) before COVID-19 complications occur “is safe and associated with very low fatality rate in patients.” From the report: Background: In France, the combination hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and azithromycin (AZ) is used in the treatment of COVID-19.

Methods: We retrospectively report on 1061 SARS-CoV-2 positive tested patients treated with HCQ (200 mg three times daily for ten days) + AZ (500 mg on day 1 followed by 250 mg daily for the next four days) for at least three days. Outcomes were death, clinical worsening (transfer to ICU, and more than 10 day hospitalization) and viral shedding persistence (more than 10 days).

Results: A total of 1061 patients were included in this analysis (46.4% male, mean age 43.6 years — range 14-95 years). Good clinical outcome and virological cure were obtained in 973 patients within 10 days (91.7%). Prolonged viral carriage was observed in 47 patients (4.4%) and was associated to a higher viral load at diagnosis (pA poor clinical outcome (PClinO) was observed for 46 patients (4.3%) and 8 died (0.75%) (74-95 years old). All deaths resulted from respiratory failure and not from cardiac toxicity. Five patients are still hospitalized (98.7% of patients cured so far). PClinO was associated with older age (OR 1.11), severity at admission (OR 10.05) and low HCQ serum concentration. PClinO was independently associated with the use of selective beta-blocking agents and angiotensin II receptor blockers (p less than .05). A total of 2.3% of patients reported mild adverse events (gastrointestinal or skin symptoms, headache, insomnia and transient blurred vision). On the contrary, a separate study, which has not been peer-reviewed, found the two primary outcomes for COVID-19 patients treated with hydroxychloroquine were death and the need for mechanical ventilation.

“The study analyzed only 368 patients but represented the largest look at the outcomes of COVID-19 patients treated with hydroxychloroquine — with or without azithromycin, a common antibiotic — anywhere in the world,” The Hill reported more than two weeks ago.

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