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Emergency arising from patients' fear of taking antimalarials during these COVID-19 times: are antimalarials as unsafe for cardiovascular health as recent reports suggest?
  1. Pedro Santos-Moreno1,
  2. Diana Buitrago-Garcia2,
  3. Laura Villarreal1,
  4. Anggie Aza1,
  5. Michael Cabrera3,
  6. Wilberto Rivero4,
  7. Adriana Rojas-Villarraga5
  1. 1 Rheumatology, Biomab IPS, Bogotá, Colombia
  2. 2 Epidemiology, Biomab IPS, Bogotá, Colombia
  3. 3 Statistics and Clinical Reports, Biomab IPS, Bogotá, Colombia
  4. 4 Pharmacy and Pharmacovigilance, Biomab IPS, Bogotá, Colombia
  5. 5 Research Department, Fundación Universitaria de Ciencias de la Salud-FUCS, Bogotá, Colombia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Pedro Santos-Moreno, Rheumatology, Biomab IPS, Bogotá, Colombia; pedrosantosmoreno{at}

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We read with interest the paper of Graef et al recently published in your journal about the situation resulting from the massive use of antimalarials for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19), despite the fact that the evidence is controversial and there are concerns about its possible cardiotoxicity, leaving rheumatic patients who use them in a position of vulnerability due to medication shortages.1 In the past few weeks, several papers have been published about the efficacy and safety of the antimalarials chloroquine (CLQ) and hydroxychloroquine (HCLQ) for the treatment of the different phases of infection by SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19, and the data are controversial. However, it is striking that some studies report high rates of cardiovascular events (CVEs) associated mainly with cardiac arrhythmias.2 .

These findings of adverse CVEs reported in the aforementioned studies have unfortunately led to the emergency in this group of patients around fear of chronic use of antimalarials, and many users are abandoning these medications, which implies great clinical risk due to relapses …

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  • Contributors PSM, DBG and ARV: study concepts and design, manuscript preparation, manuscript editing and final approval of the article. LV, AA, MC and WR: acquisition of data, analysis and interpretation, manuscript editing and final approval of article.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, conduct, reporting or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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