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Concerns About the Special Article on Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin in High-Risk Outpatients With COVID-19.

Authors
  • Fox, Matthew P
  • D'Agostino McGowan, Lucy
  • James, Bryan D
  • Lessler, Justin
  • Mehta, Shruti H
  • Murray, Eleanor J
Type
Published Article
Journal
American journal of epidemiology
Publication Date
Apr 06, 2021
Volume
190
Issue
4
Pages
491–495
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwaa189
PMID: 32860038
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

In May 2020, the Journal published an opinion piece by a member of the Editorial Board, in which the author reviewed several papers and argued that using hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) + azithromycin (AZ) early to treat symptomatic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in high-risk patients should be broadly applied. As members of the Journal's Editorial Board, we are strongly supportive of open debate in science, which is essential even on highly contentious issues. However, we must also be thorough in our examination of the facts and open to changing our minds when new information arises. In this commentary, we document several important errors in the manuscript, review the literature presented, and demonstrate why it is not of sufficient quality to support scale up of HCQ + AZ, and then discuss the literature that has been generated since the publication, which also does not support use of this therapy. Unfortunately, the current scientific evidence does not support HCQ + AZ as an effective treatment for COVID-19, if it ever did, and even suggests many risks. Continuing to push the view that it is an essential treatment in the face of this evidence is irresponsible and harmful to the many people already suffering from infection. © The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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