Scientists are working to develop treatments for coronavirus amid the ongoing pandemic. Some states are taking measures to fight the coronavirus although no drugs have been proven to counter the virus.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the state would begin treating patients with an experimental regimen of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin.
On March 21, President Donald Trump tweeted that a cocktail of hydroxychloroquineand azithromycin had “a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine.”
Hydroxychloroquine, which is sold under the brand name Plaquenil, is an anti-rheumatic drug that helps decrease the pain and swelling of arthritis. Azithromycin is antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections, including pneumonia, bronchitis and more.
Hydroxychloroquine was approved to treat malaria in 1955.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that there is currently no “magic drug” that can fight the virus. He said that the hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin cocktail has not yet been proven and warned individuals to avoid self-medicating or stockpiling medicines.
“Please don’t take hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) plus Azithromycin for #COVID19 UNLESS your doctor prescribes it. Both drugs affect the QT interval of your heart and can lead to arrhythmias and sudden death, especially if you are taking other meds or have a heart condition,” he wrote.
There has already been one news report of an individual who used a form of chloroquine, attempting to self-medicate. An Arizona man died after taking chloroquine phosphate, which is used as an additive to clean aquarium fish tanks, to medicate for coronavirus. The man’s wife also took the chloroquine phosphate and is in critical care.