Effect of Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine on Cytokine Release Syndrome in Patients with COVID-19

Link to article at PubMed

Clin Med Res. 2021 Dec;19(4):179-182. doi: 10.3121/cmr.2021.1659.


Objective: To assess the effect of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine on cytokine release syndrome (CRS) in adult patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) having mild to moderate symptoms.Methods: This blinded, placebo-controlled, randomized study was conducted in the Department of Medicine, Pak Emirates Military Hospital Rawalpindi, from June 1-15, 2020. A total of 150 hospitalized patients were enrolled after diagnoses with COVID-19 through reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). They were divided into three groups: hydroxychloroquine plus general care (HGC, n=50), chloroquine plus general care (CGC, n=50); and only general care (OGC, n=50). The HGC group received treatment with hydroxychloroquine 400 mg every 12 hours for day one and 200 mg for the next 4 days. The CGC group received treatment with chloroquine 250 mg every 12 hours for 7 days. The OGC group was kept as a control with only general care. After 12 days, the patients were screened for development of CRS through detection of interleukin 6 (IL-6) in serum samples by using Roche cobas e411 electrochemiluminescence immunoassay analyzer.Results: The mean duration from onset of symptoms to randomization was 7.65 days (SD = 3.287 days; range, 2-15 days). The mean age of patients was 37.57 (range 19-63) years. Results showed that out of a total 150 patients, only 10 patients (6%, mean=1.93; CI=1.89-1.97, P=0.651) developed CRS in all study groups. Four patients (8%) developed CRS in the HGC group, 2 patients (4%) in the CGC group, and 4 patients (8%) in the OGC group. There was no significant difference in the mean level of CRS among study groups.Conclusion: Administration of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine has no effect in reducing the development of CRS in patients with COVID-19 having mild to moderate symptoms.

PMID:34933950 | DOI:10.3121/cmr.2021.1659

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