Background: Chloroquine has been used to treat malaria for more than 70 years. Its safety profile and
cost-effectiveness are well-documented. Scientists have found that chloroquine has in vitro activity against novel
coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Currently, chloroquine has been adopted in the Protocol for Managing Coronavirus
Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (Version 7) issued by the China National Health Commission for clinically managing
Objective: This review will focus on the antiviral mechanism, effectiveness and safety, dosage and DDIs of
chloroquine, for the purpose of providing evidence-based support for rational use of chloroquine in the treatment of
Methods: Use the search terms "chloroquine" linked with "effectiveness", "safety", "mechanism", "drug-drug
interaction (DDIs)" or other terms respectively to search relevant literature through PubMed.
Results: After searching, we found literature about antivirus mechanism, dosage, DDIs of chloroquine. However,
studies on the effectiveness and safety of chloroquine treatment for COVID-19 for the general and geriatric patients
are not enough.
Conclusion: According to literature reports, chloroquine has been proven to have anti-SARS-CoV-2 effect in vitro
and the potential mechanism of chloroquine in vivo. Pharmacokinetic characteristics and DDIs study are helpful in
guiding rational drug use in general and geriatric patients. Although there have been reports of successful clinical
application of chloroquine in the treatment COVID-19, more clinical test data are still needed to prove its
effectiveness and safety.