J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2020 Sep 1. doi: 10.1089/jir.2020.0105. Online ahead of print.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which is caused by a novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), has recently emerged as a global health threat. To address this health emergency, various therapeutic approaches are currently under investigation. There is limited evidence on the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and chloroquine (CQ) as COVID-19 therapies, and thus World Health Organization (WHO) mentioned that "Current data shows that this drug does not reduce deaths among hospitalized COVID-19 patients, nor help people with mild or moderate disease." CQ and HCQ are typically used for the treatment of malaria but have been recognized for certain beneficial effects in COVID-19 patients based on some clinical outcomes from the clinical treatment of COVID-19. A standard dose of HCQ has been proven effective and less toxic than CQ in COVID-19 patients; however, a comprehensive understanding of a patient's clinical condition is necessary. Based on several hospital findings, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has officially cancelled the emergency use authorization for HCQ and CQ for treating hospitalized COVID-19 patients on June 15, 2020. In this review, we highlight both pros and cons of the clinical use of CQ and HCQ in COVID-19 patients.