Cardiac adverse events associated with chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine exposure in 20 years of drug safety surveillance reports

Isaac V. Cohen, Tigran Makunts, Talar Moumedjian, Masara A. Issa, Ruben Abagyan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Chloroquine (CQ) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) are on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medications for treating non-resistant malaria, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). In addition, both drugs are currently used off-label in hospitals worldwide and in numerous clinical trials for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, CQ and HCQ use has been associated with cardiac side effects, which is of concern due to the higher risk of COVID-19 complications in patients with heart related disorders, and increased mortality associated with COVID-19 cardiac complications. In this study we analyzed over thirteen million adverse event reports form the United States Food and Drug Administration Adverse Event Reporting System to confirm and quantify the association of cardiac side effects of CQ and HCQ. Additionally, we identified several confounding factors, including male sex, NSAID coadministration, advanced age, and prior diagnoses contributing to drug related cardiotoxicity. These findings may help guide therapeutic decision making and ethical trial design for COVID-19 treatment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScientific Reports
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020

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