Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine in Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Facts, Fiction & the Hype. A Critical Appraisal

Link to article at PubMed

Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2020 Jul 17:106101. doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2020.106101. Online ahead of print.


The coronavirus infection (COVID-19) has turned in to a global catastrophe and there is an intense search for effective drug therapy. Of all the potential therapies, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have been the focus of tremendous public attention. Both drugs have been used in the treatment and prophylaxis of malaria and long-term use of hydroxychloroquine is the cornerstone in the treatment of several auto-immune disorders. There is convincing evidence that hydroxychloroquine has strong in vitro antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2. Few small uncontrolled trials and several anecdotal reports have shown conflicting results of such drug therapy in COVID-19. However, as of today, the results of large scale randomized controlled trials are not available. Despite the lack of such evidence, hydroxychloroquine is used as a desperate attempt for prophylaxis and treatment of COVID-19. The drug has wide-ranging drug interactions and potential cardiotoxicity. Indiscriminate unsupervised use can expose the public to serious adverse drug effects.

PMID:32687949 | DOI:10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2020.106101

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