COVID-19 diagnosis, hydroxychloroquine and more

Debbie Rigby rounds up the latest in research news

COVID‐19 diagnosis and management: a comprehensive review

This article summarises the currently available data on the clinical features of and treatment options

for COVID-19. The main therapies being used to treat the disease are antiviral drugs, chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine and respiratory therapy; however, there is no evidence for efficacy. Currently, quarantine is the only intervention that appears to be effective in decreasing the contagion rate.

Journal of Internal Medicine 2020.


Frailty in the Face of COVID-19

Screening of frailty is being proposed in this article as a key tool to assist in the triage process for treatment of COVID-19 in older people. Frailty can capture the health status of an older person and is a predictor of multiple adverse outcomes. The authors recommend against the use of frailty screening tools as the sole component to ration access of older people to health care in the context of COVID-19.

Age and Ageing 2020.


Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19

A large analysis of nearly 100,000 patients hospitalised for COVID-10 has shown no evidence of benefit of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, when used alone or with a macrolide. Each of these drug regimens was associated with decreased in-hospital survival and an increased frequency of ventricular arrhythmias when used for treatment of COVID-19.

Lancet, published 22 May 2020.

Lancet comment


Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19

In a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial of intravenous remdesivir in adults hospitalised with COVID-19 with evidence of lower respiratory tract involvement, remdesivir was superior to placebo in shortening the time to recovery. The median recovery time in patients treated with remdesivir was 11 days compared 15 days among those who received placebo.

New Engl J Med, published 22 May 2020.

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1 Comment

  1. John Wilks

    Lancet Study on hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) challenged.

    More than 140 scientists and physicians are challenging the validity of the May 22nd 2020 Lancet paper by Prof Mehra and co-workers. The retrospective observational paper reported an increased in-hospital mortality in chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine users, compared to control.

    After publication of this paper, the WHO temporarily suspended enrolment in ongoing trials using hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 patients.

    The open letter listed 10 concerns, including a failure by the researchers to sufficiently account for factors (confounders) that which may have influenced the results including disease severity , as well as a the lack of ethical review and errors in the underlying database. They also criticised the authors for secrecy about their sources and methods.

    Kind regards and prayers
    John Wilks B.Pharm MPS AACPA
    Consultant Pharmacist
    Clinical Pharmacist, Norwest and Campbelltown Private Hospitals
    Mobile: 0416116652
    Fax: 02 96886713

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