Researchers and doctors are searching for effective treatments for this coronavirus, but the work has just begun. Know that there is no treatment for Covid-19 that has proven to be safe and effective.
Chloroquine and the closely related drug hydroxychloroquine have been around for decades. Chloroquine is used to treat malaria and hydroxychloroquine is used to treat autoimmune conditions such as lupus. The drugs, generally considered to be safe for most patients, can have side effects including seizures, nausea, vomiting, deafness, vision changes and low blood pressure. DO NOT TAKE THESE DRUGS without medical supervision.
Chloroquine is being fast-tracked for clinical testing as a treatment for COVID-19, however, it can have deadly side effects — particularly if accidentally ingested by children.
There is limited evidence, partly from studies on human cells, that they could have antiviral effects — one hypothesis being that they could make it harder for the novel coronavirus to bind to human cells.
Remdesivir is another experimental drug being trialed. The antiviral has been used for other coronaviruses, SARS and MERS, as well as Ebola.
Doctors in China, France, the United States, and other countries are using the drugs experimentally in Covid-19 patients, but there is not yet sufficient clinical evidence that it’s effective in humans. That’s why trials are needed. They take time and we do not have the answers yet.
“Using untested drugs without the right evidence could raise false hope and even do more harm than good and cause a shortage of essential drugs that are needed to treat other diseases,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday.