Determinants of cardiac adverse events of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in 20 years of drug safety surveillance reports
- Author(s): Cohen, Isaac;
- Makunts, Tigran;
- Moumedjian, Talar;
- Issa, Masara;
- Abagyan, Ruben
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1101/2020.05.19.20107227
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 the risk of drug related cardiotoxicity. These findings may help guide therapeutic decision making and ethical trial design for COVID-19 treatment.