Effect of Combination Therapy of Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin on Mortality in Patients With COVID-19

Clin Transl Sci. 2020 Nov;13(6):1071-1076. doi: 10.1111/cts.12860. Epub 2020 Oct 13.

Abstract

Conflicting evidence regarding the use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and azithromycin for the treatment of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection do exist. We performed a retrospective single-center cohort study including 377 consecutive patients admitted for pneumonia related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Of these, 297 were in combination treatment, 17 were on HCQ alone, and 63 did not receive either of these 2 drugs because of contraindications. The primary end point was in-hospital death. Mean age was 71.8 ± 13.4 years and 34.2% were women. We recorded 146 deaths: 35 in no treatment, 7 in HCQ treatment group, and 102 in HCQ + azithromycin treatment group (log rank test for Kaplan-Meier curve P < 0.001). At multivariable Cox proportional hazard regression analysis, age (hazard ratio (HR) 1.057, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.035-1.079, P < 0.001), mechanical ventilation/continuous positive airway pressure (HR 2.726, 95% CI 1.823-4.074, P < 0.001), and C reactive protein above the median (HR 2.191, 95% CI 1.479-3.246, P < 0.001) were directly associated with death, whereas use of HCQ + azithromycin (vs. no treatment; HR 0.265, 95% CI 0.171-0.412, P < 0.001) was inversely associated. In this study, we found a reduced in-hospital mortality in patients treated with a combination of HCQ and azithromycin after adjustment for comorbidities. A large randomized trial is necessary to confirm these findings.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Azithromycin / administration & dosage*
  • COVID-19 / drug therapy*
  • COVID-19 / mortality
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Hydroxychloroquine / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2*

Substances

  • Hydroxychloroquine
  • Azithromycin

Supplementary concepts

  • COVID-19 drug treatment