corona virus-Covid19

COVID-19: Early Treatment With Zinc Plus Low-dose Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin Reduced Hospitalizations Interview with:
Prof. Martin Scholz
Düsseldorf, Germany What is the background for this study?

Response: Primary care physicians should have options available to effectively treat newly diagnosed COVID-19 patients in the outpatient setting to avoid severe COVID-19 progression, hospitalizations, and mortality. Already since the beginning of the pandemic different early treatment options were evaluated. My co-authors, Dr. Zelenko, Dr. Derwand, and myself were keen to confirm retrospectively the observed evidence for beneficial early treatment effects of an already applied  triple therapy in combination with a risk stratification approach. The defined risk stratification allowed to differentiate between patients at low and high risk for disease progression and guided treatment decisions. What are the main findings?

Response: In this worldwide first COVID-19 outpatients study we found a significantly reduced hospitalization rate and a reduced mortality in patients treated for only 5 days with the triple therapy zinc, low dose hydroxychloroquine, and azithromycin. 141 patients at high risk who received the triple therapy  were compared with 377 untreated patients from the same community as 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. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Already today there are efficient and safe options for an early treatment of COVID-19 outpatients available. An early treatment at home within the first days after onset of symptoms might be highly efficient to avoid hospitalizations, an overwhelming of the health systems, and to save lives. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Aside from social distancing, lockdowns, intensive care medicine, and vaccination efforts we should keep in mind that even after vaccines will be available there will be still a relevant number of infected patients who require early treatments which are broadly available and cost-effective. The impact of an early intervention in the outpatient setting on hospitalization and mortality rates should be confirmed by controlled prospective studies in parallel to other efforts. Is there anything else you would like to add? Any disclosures?

Response: Derwand R, Scholz M. Does zinc supplementation enhance the clinical efficacy of chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine to win today’s battle against COVID-19? Med Hypotheses. 2020 Sep;142:109815. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2020.109815. Epub 2020 May 6. PMID: 32408070; PMCID: PMC7202847.
Derwand R, Scholz M, Zelenko V. COVID-19 outpatients: early risk-stratified treatment with zinc plus low-dose hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin: a retrospective case series study. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2020 Dec;56(6):106214. doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2020.106214. Epub 2020 Oct 26. PMID: 33122096; PMCID: PMC7587171.

No further disclosure
Roland Derwand, Martin Scholz, Vladimir Zelenko


COVID-19 outpatients: early risk-stratified treatment with zinc plus low-dose hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin: a retrospective case series study,
International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents,Volume 56, Issue 6, 2020,106214,
ISSN 0924-8579,

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Last Updated on December 7, 2020 by Marie Benz MD FAAD