Sophia Antipolis, 29 September 2020:
The European Society of Cardiology would like to emphasise that the research on the effects of hydroxychloroquine on arrhythmias published recently by Gasperetti et al in EP Europace, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC),1 was not designed to test the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 but only to assess safety with respect to electrocardiogram (ECG) changes and heart rhythm.
In this study, short-term hydroxychloroquine treatment was not associated with severe cardiac rhythm disorders in patients with COVID-19 under appropriate surveillance, which included screening of the patients´ ECG prior to initiating the drug and repeat ECGs during the course of treatment. The study does not provide any evidence that hydroxychloroquine will contribute to the cure of COVID-19.
The Europace paper is here: Arrhythmic safety of hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients from different clinical settings.
The press release is here: Heart rhythm in COVID-19 patients receiving short term treatment with hydroxychloroquine.