A pragmatic randomized controlled trial reports lack of efficacy of hydroxychloroquine on coronavirus disease 2019 viral kinetics

Nat Commun. 2020 Oct 20;11(1):5284. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-19056-6.


Here, we randomized 53 patients hospitalized with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to hydroxychloroquine therapy (at a dose of 400 mg twice daily for seven days) in addition to standard care or standard care alone (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier, NCT04316377). All severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) positive patients 18 years of age or older were eligible for study inclusion if they had moderately severe COVID-19 at admission. Treatment with hydroxychloroquine did not result in a significantly greater rate of decline in SARS-CoV-2 oropharyngeal viral load compared to standard care alone during the first five days. Our results suggest no important antiviral effect of hydroxychloroquine in humans infected with SARS-CoV-2.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Betacoronavirus / drug effects*
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Coronavirus Infections / mortality
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxychloroquine / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / drug therapy*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / mortality
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Viral Load / drug effects


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Hydroxychloroquine

Supplementary concepts

  • COVID-19 drug treatment

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04316377