Background: Some disease-modifying agents commonly used to treat patients with rheumatic diseases/autoimmune disorders, such as hydroxychloroquine and colchicine, are under investigation as potential therapies for the "coronavirus disease 2019" (COVID-19). However, the role of such agents as prophylactic tools is still not clear.
Methods: This is a retrospective study based on a large healthcare computerized database including all patients that were screened for the "Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus type 2" (SARS-CoV-2) in the study period from February 23rd 2020 to March 31st 2020. A comparison was conducted between subjects tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and those found negative in terms of rate of administration of hydroxychloroquine/colchicine therapy.
Results: An overall sample of 14,520 subjects were screened for SARS-CoV-2 infection and 1317 resulted positive. No significant difference was found in terms of rates of usage of hydroxychloroquine or colchicine between those who were found positive for SARS-CoV-2 and those who were found negative (0.23% versus 0.25% for hydroxychloroquine, and 0.53% versus 0.48% for colchicine, respectively).
Conclusion: These findings raise doubts regarding the protective role of these medications in the battle against SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Keywords: Autoimmunity; COVID-19; Colchicine; Hydroxychloroquine; Rheumatic disease; SARS-CoV-2.
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