Chat with us in Facebook Messenger.
Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds. More Videos Surgeon general's stark warning: It's going to get bad President Donald Trump has called the drugs, which are used to treat malaria and other conditions, game changers, and a rush to procure the pharmaceuticals spurred several US states to take measures to prevent shortages amid the Covid pandemic.
Your coronavirus questions answered. New York moved to begin trials Tuesday, procuring 70, doses of hydroxychloroquine and , doses of chloroquine, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. In addition, Bayer, the drug maker, has donated 3 million doses of Resochin, its brand name for chloroquine, to the federal government. Perhaps demonstrating why health officials are urging caution -- saying chloroquine requires further clinical study and might not be the panacea it's billed to be -- officials in Nigeria's Lagos state have reported three overdoses in the days since the drug entered the conversation surrounding the pandemic.
Man dies after taking chloroquine in an attempt to prevent coronavirus
In Arizona, a man died after reportedly taking a nonmedical form of chloroquine used to fight parasites in aquariums. Chloroquine is used to treat malaria, as well as in chemoprophylaxis, which is the administering of drugs to prevent the development of disease, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since , it has not been recommended for use in severe malaria because of problems with resistance, particularly in the Oceania region, according to the World Health Organization. WHO includes it on its list of "essential medicines," meaning it should be kept affordable and accessible at all times.
Fauci: There is no 'magic drug' for coronavirus. Fauci: There is no 'magic drug' for coronavirus According to the Swiss-registered organization, Medicines for Malaria Venture , chloroquine is a derivative of quinine, which French chemists in isolated from the bark of the cinchona tree found in South America, employing it as a treatment for fevers. German scientists created the synthetic chloroquine in as part of a class of anti-malarials, MMV said, and chloroquine and DDT became "the two principal weapons in WHO's global eradication malaria campaign" following World War II, the organization said.
Hydroxychloroquine is what's known as an analog of chloroquine, meaning the two have similar structures but different chemical and biological properties. The former is considered the less toxic derivative , according to studies.
It's given to patients with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and the blood disorder porphyria cutanea tarda, the CDC said. The reason Trump lauds the drugs is because they've been shown, in labs, to be effective against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronaviruses -- including the SARS strain that causes Covid -- as well as other coronaviruses, the CDC said.
Hydroxychloroquine is being studied to determine if it can prevent the onset of Covid before or after a patient is infected with the SARS coronavirus strain that causes it, and if it can be used to treat Covid sufferers, the CDC said.
What to Read Next
Because the drug has been in use for years, Trump said, it potentially poses fewer risks than a newly developed drug. Inside Oxford lab developing 30 minute coronavirus test Related: 11 deadly diseases that hopped across species. Preliminary reports from China, South Korea and France suggest that the treatment is at least somewhat effective in treating human patients, and some hospitals in the U.
In addition, the FDA is organizing a large clinical trial to formally assess the drug's effects, the Times reported. However, due to a short supply of chloroquine in China, and the fact that an overdose can lead to acute poisoning or death in humans, Wang's team also investigated the closely related drug hydroxychloroquine.
chloroquine | Michigan Medicine
Though it shares a similar structure, hydroxychloroquine shows lower toxicity in animals than its chemical cousin and remains widely available as a treatment for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, the authors noted. Wang's team tested hydroxychloroquine in primate cells and found that, like chloroquine, the drug prevented SARS-CoV-2 replication, according to a report published March 18 in the journal Cell Discovery. As of Feb. In the U. Both chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have been in short supply since earlier this month, according to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.
But on March 19, the pharmaceutical company Bayer donated 3 million tablets to the federal government, and Novartis, Mylan and Teva are moving to follow suit, according to FiercePharma. Although we won't know the results of these trials for some time, the advantage of trying out chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as COVID treatments is that the drugs' safety profiles are well understood, Horovitz said.
Both drugs are generally well tolerated at prescribed doses but can cause stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, headache and more rarely, itchiness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC. When taken in high doses over many years, the drugs can cause a rare eye condition known as retinopathy. Both medications can interact with other drugs and doses should be adjusted to account for drug interactions.
Chloroquine, Hydroxychloroquine And Coronavirus: What You Should Know
Those with psoriasis should not take either drug, the CDC notes. In their current form, the drugs are also not safe for those with heart arrhythmia, or those with impaired kidneys or liver, the Times reported. Assuming the drugs are well tolerated in clinical trials and seem effective at treating COVID, the FDA will take measures to increase the nation's supply, according to Hahn. Originally published on Live Science.
Written and presented in a style that makes even the most complex subjects interesting and easy to understand, How It Works is enjoyed by readers of all ages. View Deal. Live Science.