Hydroxychloroquine and SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19): An Old Problem and New Considerations in Ophthalmology

The Open Ophthalmology Journal 31 December 2020 PERSPECTIVE ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874364102014010078


The antimalarial hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) has been suggested as a potential drug for treatment and prevention against severe acute respiratory syndrome–coronavirus 2 (SARS–CoV-2). Currently, there is insufficient scientific evidence available on HCQ retinal toxicity associated with the current treatment regimen and dosing for COVID-19 patients. In the sight of the current public health crisis, our recommendations aim to reduce the probability of unfavorable HCQ treatment outcomes and emphasize the importance of monitoring and early detection for HCQ retinopathy by simple means and the need for correlating clinical observations with multimodal imaging. We, therefore, recommend the use of Threshold Amsler grid (TAG) as a screening tool for high risk COVID-19 patients as well as treated patients with visual symptoms. Clinical decisions should be made on an individual basis, taking into consideration any pre-existing liver and kidney disease as well as macular pathology.

Keywords: Hydroxychloroquine, Ocular toxicity, COVID-19, Pandemic, Screening, Short-term toxicity.
Fulltext HTML PDF