There is no evidence that hydroxychloroquine can increase survival rates of COVID-19 because the drug has no beneficial effect on patients.
In 2020, a population-based cohort study conducted by The Lancet stated that there was no clinical evidence of hydroxychloroquine reducing mortality when given to COVID-19 patients. The study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in preventing COVID-19 mortality instead of treatment for the disease. The study was conducted among people who were 18 years and above.
In 2020, The New England Journal of Medicine published a study that compared hydroxychloroquine to standard therapy for COVID-19 patients. The results showed that hydroxychloroquine alone or combined with azithromycin did not improve the condition of patients hospitalized with mild-to-moderate COVID-19. The study was conducted among 667 participants.
A National Institutes of Health conducted a clinical trial that evaluated the safety and effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine to treat adults with COVID-19. The study observed that the medication had no clinical benefit. The results were consistent across patient subgroups and for all examined outcomes, including clinical status, mortality, organ failures, oxygen use duration, and hospital length of stay.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) canceled the emergency use authorization for chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine sulfate as it found it unlikely to be effective in treating COVID-19. Patrizia Cavazzoni, MD, acting director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation, stated, "While additional clinical trials are still being conducted to assess the potential benefit of these drugs in treating or preventing COVID-19, we determined that the emergency use authorization was no longer appropriate."
The World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend the use of hydroxychloroquine to prevent COVID-19. This suggestion was based on six trials involving over 6,000 people who were not infected with COVID-19 and were given hydroxychloroquine. Using hydroxychloroquine to prevent illness, hospitalization, or mortality from COVID-19 had little or no effect. In addition, taking hydroxychloroquine to prevent COVID-19 can cause diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, tiredness, and headaches. It also stated that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are safe for people with autoimmune disorders or malaria but not for COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19 including symptoms, prevention and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organisation or your national healthcare authority.