Review: Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for treatment of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)

Katelyn A. Pastick, Elizabeth C. Okafor, Fan Wang, Sarah M. Lofgren, Caleb P. Skipper, Melanie R. Nicol, Matthew F. Pullen, Radha Rajasingham, Emily G. McDonald, Todd C. Lee, Ilan S. Schwartz, Lauren E. Kelly, Sylvain A. Lother, Oriol Mitjà, Emili Letang, Mahsa Abassi, David R. Boulware

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

142 Scopus citations


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a rapidly emerging viral infection causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine have garnered unprecedented attention as potential therapeutic agents against COVID-19 following several small clinical trials, uncontrolled case series, and public figure endorsements. While there is a growing body of scientific data, there is also concern for harm, particularly QTc prolongation and cardiac arrhythmias. Here, we perform a rapid narrative review and discuss the strengths and limitations of existing in vitro and clinical studies. We call for additional randomized controlled trial evidence prior to the widespread incorporation of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine into national and international treatment guidelines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberofaa130
JournalOpen Forum Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 16 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs licence ( by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial reproduction and distribution of the work, in any medium, provided the original work is not altered or transformed in any way, and that the work is properly cited.


  • “chloroquine
  • ” “SARS-CoV-2.”
  • ” “clinical trials
  • ” “coronavirus
  • ”“COVID-19
  • ”“Hydroxychloroquine


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