As the world fights the Coronavirus with all possible means to prevent its spread, the US President Donald Trump’s administration announced during a press conference that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, among other drugs, are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for testing as potential treatments for COVID-19 coronavirus. .
It is not the first time that these medications have been mentioned as possible treatments for viral disease.
The early test for hydroxychloroquine in France showed promising results, as the results indicated that 50% of patients who were infected with the virus were negative, after only three days of treatment.
However, although the results are still not very clear if this is a viable solution, it may be necessary to understand what exactly this drug is, and what is already known about it.
What is the?
Hydroxycholorquine (sold under the brand name Plaquenil), and its closely related chloroquine, were adopted in 1950 mainly as anti-malarial remedies. Since then, medications have been used for a wide range of diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus (known as “lupus”), rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, and even for complications of Lyme disease.
How it works
One relatively well understood aspect is that these drugs act at the molecular level to disrupt critical cell processes, disrupting the body’s immune response.
Since the normal immune response is responsible for inflammation and other symptoms of general illness (such as pain, fever, pain, etc.), this anti-immune process reduces systemic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
As for the treatment of malaria, although Plaquenil can be referred to to treat uncomplicated malaria, the exact mechanism by which this drug works to solve malaria is largely unknown.
What are the side effects
Although hydroxy chloroquine may be effective, it can cause many side effects, including but not limited to headache, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, rash, etc. A serious side effect is loss of vision due to retinal toxicity.
There is a great benefit from using these drugs since they have been on the market for a long time, so there is a reasonable amount of information related to them and their effect on the patient, side effects, and effectiveness.
Its use, especially for rheumatic disorders and malaria, has been relatively well supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
But in reality, there is still a lot of work to be done before announcing these medications as a viable treatment option for Corona, especially regarding long-term efficacy, safety, and patient outcomes.
However, if the scientific community is able to collaborate quickly enough to test these drugs, and if the results are indeed promising as they appear at first, this may change the rules of the game in reducing the coronavirus pandemic