Azithromycin and Hydroxychloroquine Accelerate Recovery of Outpatients with Mild/Moderate COVID-19

Violaine Guérin *

Collectif Laissons Les Médecins Prescrire, France.

Pierre Lévy

Département de Santé Publique, Institut Pierre-Louis de Santé Publique (INSERM UMR S 1136, EPAR Team), Sorbonne Université, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Hôpital Tenon, 75020 Paris, France.

Jean-Louis Thomas

Collectif Laissons Les Médecins Prescrire, France.

Thierry Lardenois

Collectif Laissons Les Médecins Prescrire, France.

Philippe Lacrosse

Collectif Laissons Les Médecins Prescrire, France.

Emmanuel Sarrazin

Collectif Laissons Les Médecins Prescrire, France.

Natacha Regensberg-de Andreis

Collectif Laissons Les Médecins Prescrire, France.

Martine Wonner

Collectif Laissons Les Médecins Prescrire, France.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

Aims: The challenge regarding COVID-19 is to prevent complications and fatal evolution. Azithromycin (AZM) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) have proven their antiviral effect in vitro. We aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of AZM alone or combined to HCQ, prescribed, at an early stage, in patients with Covid-19, in a primary care setting.

Study Design: Retrospective observational study.

Place and Duration of Study: Patients have been followed by private practitioners in France, between March and April 2020.

Methodology: Eighty-eight patients received either no or a symptomatic treatment (NST) (n=34) or AZM alone (n=34) or AZM+HCQ (n=20). The efficacy end point was the time to clinical recovery and the safety end point was the occurrence of cardiovascular events. To improve the evidence level, a case-control analysis was performed on a sample of 57 patients (19/group) matched for age, sex and BMI.

Results: The mean (SD) times to achieve clinical recovery were respectively 25.8 days (11.1), 12.9 days (13.4) and 9.2 days (9.3), showing a statistically significant difference between NST and AZM alone (p<0.0001) or AZM+HCQ (p<0.0001). The statistical difference between NST and AZM was confirmed (p=0.0149) as well as the difference with AZM+HCQ (p=0.0002). No cardiac toxicity was recorded in any patient. No statistical difference was shown between AZM and AZM+HCQ groups, although the dual therapy tended to be more effective in patients over 50 years, based on an analysis using the cox model.

Conclusion: AZM and AZM+HCQ favourably impacted the course of the disease. We need trials, ideally prospective/double blind, to show if a statistical difference can be evidenced with a broader group, and clarify the indications of each treatment depending on initial clinical presentation.

Keywords: COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, azithromycin, hydroxychloroquine, primary care.


How to Cite

Guérin, Violaine, Pierre Lévy, Jean-Louis Thomas, Thierry Lardenois, Philippe Lacrosse, Emmanuel Sarrazin, Natacha Regensberg-de Andreis, and Martine Wonner. 2020. “Azithromycin and Hydroxychloroquine Accelerate Recovery of Outpatients With Mild/Moderate COVID-19”. Asian Journal of Medicine and Health 18 (7):45-55. https://doi.org/10.9734/ajmah/2020/v18i730224.

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