Hydroxychloroquine/chloroquine for the treatment of hospitalized patients with COVID-19: An individual participant data meta-analysis.



Results from observational studies and randomized clinical trials (RCTs) have led to the consensus that hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and chloroquine (CQ) are not effective for COVID-19 prevention or treatment. Pooling individual participant data, including unanalyzed data from trials terminated early, enables more detailed investigation of the efficacy and safety of HCQ/CQ among subgroups of hospitalized patients.


We searched ClinicalTrials.gov in May and June 2020 for US-based RCTs evaluating HCQ/CQ in hospitalized COVID-19 patients in which the outcomes defined in this study were recorded or could be extrapolated. The primary outcome was a 7-point ordinal scale measured between day 28 and 35 post enrollment; comparisons used proportional odds ratios. Harmonized de-identified data were collected via a common template spreadsheet sent to each principal investigator. The data were analyzed by fitting a prespecified Bayesian ordinal regression model and standardizing the resulting predictions.


Eight of 19 trials met eligibility criteria and agreed to participate. Patient-level data were available from 770 participants (412 HCQ/CQ vs 358 control). Baseline characteristics were similar between groups. We did not find evidence of a difference in COVID-19 ordinal scores between days 28 and 35 post-enrollment in the pooled patient population (odds ratio, 0.97; 95% credible interval, 0.76-1.24; higher favors HCQ/CQ), and found no convincing evidence of meaningful treatment effect heterogeneity among prespecified subgroups. Adverse event and serious adverse event rates were numerically higher with HCQ/CQ vs control (0.39 vs 0.29 and 0.13 vs 0.09 per patient, respectively).


The findings of this individual participant data meta-analysis reinforce those of individual RCTs that HCQ/CQ is not efficacious for treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Di Stefano, Leon, Elizabeth L Ogburn, Malathi Ram, Daniel O Scharfstein, Tianjing Li, Preeti Khanal, Sheriza N Baksh, Nichol McBee, et al. (2022). Hydroxychloroquine/chloroquine for the treatment of hospitalized patients with COVID-19: An individual participant data meta-analysis. PloS one, 17(9). p. e0273526. 10.1371/journal.pone.0273526 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/26256.

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.

Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.