Could chloroquine treat coronavirus? 5 questions answered about a promising problematic and unproven use for an antimalarial drug.

https://theconversation.com/could-chloroquine-treat-coronavirus-5-questions-answered-about-a-promising-problematic-and-unproven-use-for-an-antimalarial-drug-134511

An employee in Nantong, China, checks the production of chloroquine phosphate, an old drug for the treatment of malaria. Feature China/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

An Arizona man died, and his wife was hospitalized, after taking a form of chloroquine, which President Trump has touted as an effective treatment for COVID-19. The couple decided to self-medicate with chloroquine phosphate, which they had on hand to kill parasites in their fish, after hearing the president describe the drug as a “game changer.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of NIH’s National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, quickly corrected the statement, explaining that Trump’s comments were based on anecdotes and not a controlled clinical trial.

Donald Trump’s Twitter feed. @realDonaldTrump

I am a medicinal chemist who specializes in discovery and development of antiviral drugs, and I have been actively working on coronaviruses for seven years.

However, because I am a scientist and I deal in facts and evidence-based medicine, I am concerned about the sweeping statements the president has been making regarding the use of chloroquine or the closely related hydroxychloroquine, both antimalarial drugs, as cures for COVID-19. So let’s examine the facts.

What are chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine?

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