Hydroxychloroquine as prophylaxis or treatment for COVID-19: What does the evidence say?

Indian J Public Health. 2020 Jun;64(Supplement):S125-S127. doi: 10.4103/ijph.IJPH_496_20.


Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), an antimalarial has been proposed as possible treatment for coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). India has approved the use of HCQ for prophylaxis of asymptomatic health workers treating suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases, and asymptomatic household contacts of confirmed patients. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued Emergency Use Authorization for the use of HCQ to treat COVID-19 in adolescents and adults. In this review, we go over the available evidence for and against HCQ's use as prophylaxis or treatment for COVID-19, especially in the Indian context.

Keywords: COVID-19; Chloroquine; Hydroxychloroquine; Prophylaxis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antimalarials / administration & dosage
  • Antimalarials / adverse effects
  • Antimalarials / therapeutic use*
  • Azithromycin / therapeutic use
  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Humans
  • Hydroxychloroquine / administration & dosage
  • Hydroxychloroquine / adverse effects
  • Hydroxychloroquine / therapeutic use*
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / drug therapy*
  • SARS-CoV-2


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antimalarials
  • Hydroxychloroquine
  • Azithromycin