A Rush to Judgment? Rapid Reporting and Dissemination of Results and Its Consequences Regarding the Use of Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19

Ann Intern Med. 2020 Jun 16;172(12):819-821. doi: 10.7326/M20-1223. Epub 2020 Mar 30.


Hydroxychloroquine, an essential treatment for many patients with rheumatologic conditions, has recently garnered widespread attention as a potential treatment for COVID-19 infection. The authors appraise the study generating this interest and highlight the potential consequences of rapid dissemination of overinterpreted data, particularly for people with conditions for which hydroxychloroquine has demonstrated benefits in preventing organ damage and life-threatening disease flares.

Keywords: Antimalarials; Biomarkers; COVID-19; Chloroquine; Intensive care units; Metastasis; Polymerase chain reaction; Post-exposure prophylaxis; Safety; Viral load.

Publication types

  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Azithromycin / therapeutic use
  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 Drug Treatment
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / standards*
  • Confounding Factors, Epidemiologic
  • Coronavirus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxychloroquine / therapeutic use*
  • Information Dissemination*
  • Mass Media*
  • Pandemics*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / drug therapy*
  • Research Design / standards
  • SARS-CoV-2


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Hydroxychloroquine
  • Azithromycin