Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine for the Treatment of COVID-19: Review and Appraisal of Current Evidence

This article was originally published here

J Natl Black Nurses Assoc. 2020 Dec;31(2):1-14.


Novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and associated coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) began ravaging most of the globe in November 2019. In the United States more than 25 million people have been infected with SARS-CoV-2. To date, COVID-19 has killed close to 400,000 U.S. citizens. In the face of limited pharmacotherapies, the current burden of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 signals overwhelming sickness and trillions in healthcare costs ahead. The need to expeditiously identify safe and efficacious prophylaxis and treatment options is critical. Drug repositioning may be a promising strategy toward mitigating the impact of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. This rapid review appraises available evidence on the viability of vintage antimalarial drugs chloroquine (CHQ) and its analog hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) repositioned for SARS-CoV-2 prophylaxis and COVID-19 treatment. Findings suggest neither the use of CHQ nor HCQ singularly, or concomitantly, with azithromycin and/or zinc provide definitive benefits for use against SARS-CoV-2 infection or COVID-19 illness. Moreover, administration of these medications was linked to significant and sometimes fatal complications.