Hydroxychloroquine shortened hospital stay and reduced intensive care unit admissions in hospitalized COVID-19 patients
Keywords:COVID-19, hydroxychloroquine, intensive care unit, mortality, inpatient duration
Introduction: Effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine against SARS-CoV-2 has been highly controversial. In our research, we aimed to investigate the effects of hydroxychloroquine on disease outcomes in hospitalized patients with COVID-19.
Methodology: A total of 393 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 were retrospectively assigned to the standard of care therapy group (n = 180) or the standard of care plus hydroxychloroquine group (n = 213). The standard of care therapy comprised favipiravir, low molecular weight heparin, acetylsalicylic acid. Status of oxygenation at baseline and on the seventh day, laboratory tests at baseline and at discharge were recorded. Length of hospital stay, administration of anti-inflammatory treatment, admission to the intensive care unit and 28th day mortality were set as primary endpoints.
Results: There were no statistically significant differences between groups in terms of oxygen delivery route and mortality after seven days of treatment (p = 0.592). C-reactive protein levels of the standard of care plus hydroxychloroquine group were significantly lower than that of the standard of care group at discharge (p = 0.034). Patients in the standard of care plus hydroxychloroquine group had shorter hospital stay (p = 0.007). The standard of care plus hydroxychloroquine group was favored over standard of care group in terms of rate of intensive care unit admissions (21.7% vs. 10.8%; relative risk with 95% CI = 0.49 [0.31-0.80], p = 0.003).
Conclusions: Hydroxychloroquine in addition to standard of care was associated with less intensive care unit admissions, early discharge and greater C-reactive protein reduction. There was no difference in 28-day mortality.
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