A New Drug–Drug Interaction Between Hydroxychloroquine and Metformin? A Signal Detection Study

Montastruc, J L and Toutain, P L (2020) A New Drug–Drug Interaction Between Hydroxychloroquine and Metformin? A Signal Detection Study. Drug Safety, 43 (7). pp. 657-660. ISSN 0114-5916

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40264-020-00955-y

Abstract

Introduction Hydroxychloroquine was recently promoted in patients infected with COVID-19 infection. A recent experimental study has suggested an increased toxicity of hydroxychloroquine in association with metformin in mice. Objective The present study was undertaken to investigate the reality of this putative drug–drug interaction between hydroxychloroquine and metformin using pharmacovigilance data. Methods Using VigiBase®, the WHO pharmacovigilance database, we performed a disproportionality analysis (case/non-case study). Cases were reports of fatal outcomes with the drugs of interest and non-cases were all other reports for these drugs registered between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2019. Data with hydroxychloroquine (or metformin) alone were compared with the association hydroxychloroquine + metformin. Results are reported as ROR (reporting odds ratio) with their 95% confidence interval. Results Of the 10,771 Individual Case Safety Reports (ICSR) involving hydroxychloroquine, 52 were recorded as ‘fatal outcomes’. In comparison with hydroxychloroquine alone, hydroxychloroquine + metformin was associated with an ROR value of 57.7 (23.9–139.3). In comparison with metformin alone, hydroxychloroquine + metformin was associated with an ROR value of 6.0 (2.6–13.8). Conclusion Our study identified a signal for the association hydroxychloroquine + metformin that appears to be more at risk of fatal outcomes (particularly by completed suicides) than one of the two drugs when given alone.

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