Scholz, M.; Derwand, R.; Zelenko, V. COVID-19 Outpatients – Early Risk-Stratified Treatment with Zinc Plus Low Dose Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin: A Retrospective Case Series Study. Preprints 2020, 2020070025 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202007.0025.v1).
Objective: To describe outcomes of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the outpatient setting after early treatment with zinc, low dose hydroxychloroquine, and azithromycin (the triple therapy) dependent on risk stratification.
Design: Retrospective case series study.
Setting: General practice.
Participants: 141 COVID-19 patients with laboratory confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections in the year 2020.
Main Outcome Measures: Risk-stratified treatment decision, rate of hospitalization and all-cause death.
Results: Of 335 positively PCR-tested COVID-19 patients, 127 were treated with the triple therapy. 104 of 127 met the defined risk stratification criteria and were included in the analysis. In addition, 37 treated and eligible patients who were confirmed by IgG tests were included in the treatment group (total N=141). 208 of the 335 patients did not meet the risk stratification criteria and were not treated. After 4 days (median, IQR 3-6, available for N=66/141) of onset of symptoms, 141 patients (median age 58 years, IQR 40-60; 73% male) got a prescription for the triple therapy for 5 days. Independent public reference data from 377 confirmed COVID-19 patients of the same community were used as untreated control. 4 of 141 treated patients (2.8%) were hospitalized, which was significantly less (p<0.001) compared with 58 of 377 untreated patients (15.4%) (odds ratio 0.16, 95% CI 0.06-0.5).
Therefore, the odds of hospitalization of treated patients were 84% less than in the untreated group.
One patient (0.7%) died in the treatment group versus 13 patients (3.5%) in the untreated group (odds ratio 0.2, 95% CI 0.03-1.5; p=0.16).
There were no cardiac side effects.