COVID-19: Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine research, 6 April 2020
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In recent weeks, information on the potential use of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of people with COVID-19 has been disseminated in academic journals and public media. Although there are now ongoing clinical trials testing the efficacy and safety of several medicines for COVID-19, as of the date of this document, there is a lack of quality evidence to demonstrate chloroquine and/or hydroxychloroquine are effective in the treatment of COVID-19. Evidence is recently emerging via small studies with sub-optimal methodologies that are conflicting. In some countries in the Americas, chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine is readily available, in some cases as an over-the-counter medicine. National authorities should take measures to control the use of these medicines and prevent self-medication. The use of chloroquine and/or hydroxychloroquine outside of current guidelines and recommendations may result in adverse effects, including serious illness and death, and have a negative impact on other diseases where there is proven benefit. Public health authorities are urged to prioritize resources on those interventions that are currently recommended for standard of care.
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