Boulware, David R., Matthew F. Pullen, Ananta S. Bangdiwala, Katelyn A. Pastick, Sarah M. Lofgren, Elizabeth C. Okafor, Caleb P. Skipper, et al. “A Randomized Trial of Hydroxychloroquine as Postexposure Prophylaxis for Covid-19.” New England Journal of Medicine 383, no. 6 (August 6, 2020): 517–25. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2016638.
Scientists recruited 871 people, most of whom had been exposed to COVID-19 in recent days. Within 4 days of exposure, half of the participants were randomly given hydroxychloroquine. Everyone’s symptoms and COVID test results were tracked.
Hydroxychloroquine did not prevent coronavirus infection:
- Out of the 414 people who received hydroxychloroquine, 11.8% tested positive for the coronavirus.
- Out of 407 people who received a placebo, 14.3% tested positive. These numbers are virtually the same
- 40.1% of people who took hydroxychloroquine reported side effects
- 16.8% of people who took the placebo reported side effects
- Luckily, no serious side effects like cardiac arrhythmias were reported in this study
What does this mean?
Hydroxychloroquine is no miracle cure. It neither prevents nor cures COVID-19. Sometimes, it can even cause more harm than good.