The role of hydroxychloroquine sulfate in the geriatric patient with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). What is useful to know for the geriatrician?
The role of hydroxychroloquine (HCQ) sulfate as therapeutic option in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients aroused great interest and hope, so much so as to authorize several studies in the world. Despite the beneficial effects demonstrated in vitro and in some case-series, doubts remain about its clinical use, so that at present more than 20 different therapeutic study protocols have been proposed. Very recently, a protocol has been authorized by the Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA), in order to evaluate the efficacy of out-of-hospital treatment with HCQ in the reducing viral loads and need for hospitalization in symptomatic COVID-19 infected patients who are confined at home. The article describes lights and shadows of HCQ therapy in the elderly and geriatric patients affected by COVID-19, and suggests that the geriatrician should use HCQ only after careful patient selection and be aware of its pharmacokinetic properties and adverse effects, before better-designed studies determine their benefit, if any, in treating COVID-19.
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