The results of an eagerly anticipated randomized controlled trial indicate the antimalaria drug hydroxychloroquine was ineffective at preventing symptoms of COVID-19 in people after they were exposed to patients infected with the coronavirus. The results, which appeared yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine, are the first from a large-scale controlled trial testing the efficacy of the drug against SARS-CoV-2—the virus that causes COVID-19—to be published. The findings showed that when given to participants within 4 days of close exposure to someone with confirmed COVID-19, hydroxychloroquine was no better than a placebo at preventing symptoms compatible with the novel coronavirus. “This randomized trial did not demonstrate a significant benefit of hydroxychloroquine as postexposure prophylaxis for COVID-19,” the authors of the study, a team of US and Canadian researchers, wrote in the paper.

 

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