Covid-19 Story Tip: Hydroxychloroquine Not Recommended for Treatment of COVID-19


Recently, several physicians hosted a press conference in which one physician claimed that the combination of hydroxychloroquine, the antibiotic azithromycin and the mineral zinc could cure COVID-19. The video footage of that press conference went viral on social media, and soon many social media platforms removed the videos for providing inaccurate, non-scientifically backed claims. But questions from the public may still remain.

According to Johns Hopkins experts, there are no significant clinical trials to date showing that these drugs are an effective treatment against COVID-19. At least three controlled, large trials showed either no advantage or higher risk of cardiovascular complications in patients receiving the drug.

“Patients infected with COVID-19 often have compromised heart and vascular systems, and receive other drugs that can interact with hydroxychloroquine and can put patients at increased risk of arrhythmias or irregular heartbeats,” says cardiologist Oscar Cingolani, M.D., associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “These cardiovascular side effects in some COVID patients aren’t often seen in patients receiving the drug for other purposes like autoimmune disorders, so therefore the safety observed in these other patients can’t be inferred for COVID-19 patients.”

To date, Johns Hopkins physicians endorse the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations on not using these drugs for treatment of COVID-19.

Cingolani is available to speak with reporters about why people shouldn’t take hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19.

For information from Johns Hopkins Medicine about the coronavirus pandemic, visit For information on the coronavirus from throughout the Johns Hopkins enterprise, including the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and The Johns Hopkins University, visit