Hydroxychloroquine is not associated with an abnormal amount of arrhythmic events among COVID-19 patients, according to a brand new analysis out of Europe.
The study, published in EP Europace, includes data from 649 COVID-19 patients treated with the drug. All patients were enrolled from March 10 to April 10, 2020, and the most common symptoms were fever, dry cough and dyspnea. Patients were treated in a variety of clinical settings, including ICUs, medical wards and even at home. While 53.8% of patients were given hydroxychloroquine alone, 30% of patients received two QT-prolonging drugs in total. Another 13.6% of patients received three QT-prolonging drugs.
Overall, the authors said hydroxychloroquine was only associated with “modest QTc prolongation.” The overall major ventricular arrhythmia rate was just 1.1%. From their perspective—they were specifically focused on its arrhythmic safety—the medication “seems to be safe, regardless of the clinical setting in which it is started” as long as an adequate ECG monitoring strategy is in place.