Chloroquine phosphate tablets. Image credit: indiamart.com
The question is: Is chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine effective in the treatment of coronavirus patients? Could Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine treat coronavirus? How effectively can both drugs cure coronavirus infection patients?
You can also see: How to do a coronavirus infection test
The reason why President Donald Trump of US publicized chloroquine as an effective treatment for COVID-19 is not far-fetched, describing it as a game-changer.
Chloroquine, with several other drugs, showed the ability to block coronaviruses from infecting cells in vitro when scientists conducted random screens of thousands of approved drugs to identify one that might block MERS infection when it first broke out 2012. The chloroquines can change the acidity at the surface of the cell, thereby preventing the coronaviruses from infecting it. Chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine, in combination with azithromycin, worked well to stop the spread of the infection. Azithromycin is an antibacterial drug. Chloroquines can probably help to activate the immune response.
So, chloroquine, alongside many drugs that had shown some abilities against the related coronaviruses MERS and SARS hence qualified to be further evaluated as likely treatments for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
In reality, a good number of laboratories around the world are currently investigating and testing the chloroquine and the other drugs in clinical trials as potential treatment or cure of the novel coronavirus patients. While the clinical trial tests are at their early stage and progress, it has not been appropriately evaluated in controlled studies that the drugs are safe and effective for treating new coronavirus (COVID-19). President Donald Trump’s statement was seen as not clinically or scientifically proven.
Employees a pharmaceutical company in Nantong city in East China’s Jiangsu province were pictured on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, working on the production line of chloroquine phosphate – a resumption of work resumed a 15-year break.
It still unclear how chloroquines (a drug for the treatment of malaria caused by plasmodium parasites that are carried by mosquitoes) would work against COVID-19 (an infection caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus) even though no other antimalarial drugs have shown any significant action against the treatment of coronaviruses.
Chloroquine, or the closely related hydroxychloroquine, is both FDA-approved antimalarial drugs that have been in use for many years.
Both chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are also used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and lupus even though they have not been approved for use in these health conditions.
Chloroquine, which was originally developed at Bayer Pharmaceutical Company in 1934, was widely used to prevent malaria during the Second World War.