Background: The recent serious outbreak of Covid-19 has required urgent medical treatments
for numerous patients. No clinically active vaccines or antiviral agents are available for
Covid-19. According to several studies, Chloroquine (CQ) and Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) have
shown potential as Covid-19 antivirals, especially when administered with Azithromycin (AZM).
Objective: Here, we review the rationale behind this use. CQ/HCQ is effective against Covid-19 in-
-vitro and in-vivo laboratory studies. Therapy in Covid-19 infected patients with CQ/HCQ is supported
by evidence of trials and field experiences from multiple sources.
Methods: The relevant works are reviewed. The presence or absence of conflict of interest is
weighed against the conclusions.
Results: CQ/HCQ has been used with success in mild cases or medium severity cases. No randomized
controlled trial has, however, been conducted to support the safety and efficacy of
CQ/HCQ and AZM for Covid-19. Prophylaxis with CQ/HCQ is more controversial but generally
not having side effects and supported by pre-clinical studies. The mechanism of action against
Covid-19 is unclear. More research is needed to understand the mechanisms of actions CQ/HCQ
has against Covid-19 infection, and this requires investigations with nanoscale imaging of viral infection
of host cells.
Conclusion: Most of the published works indicate CQ/HCQ is likely effective against Covid-19 infection,
almost 100% in prophylaxis and mild to medium severity cases, and 60% in late infection
cases. The percentage of positive works is larger if works conducted under a probable conflict of interest
are excluded from the list.