Will an Old Drug Cure the Corona Virus?
The President just announced the use of Chloroquine to be considered as an anti-viral medication for certain populations at high risk for COVID-19. This is an old drug for the new virus. At least since 1934, Bayer Laboratories has been manufacturing this drug and there have been many trials done showing the efficacy of its anti-malarial properties.
Currently, several trials which are being conducted around the world seem to indicate evidence to use this drug for COVID-19. I caution that these are preliminary results. In previous scientific publications it appears that Chloroquine prevents the gain of the virus into the cells and, therefore, prevents the cellular infection from occurring. We also have to take into consideration that the use of this medication has to be done under strict supervision as there have been well-documented side effects, specifically, heart complications and visual toxicity. In reference to pregnant patients, there has been no previous indication that Chloroquine has been harmful to pregnant woman.
I think that it is important to emphasize that patient panic does not lead to a run of finding this medication on the internet. This drug should be targeted for prevention to high-risk groups and continues to need supervision by medical personnel. Other recommendations should continue to hold true in order to prevent the spread of this virus.
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