Mechanism of Action of Chloroquine/Hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19 Infection

Author(s): Alberto Boretti*, Bimal Banik, Stefania Castelletto

Journal Name: Coronaviruses
The World's First International Journal Dedicated to Coronaviruses

Volume 2 , Issue 6 , 2021

Article ID: e130621187910
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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.

Keywords: Covid-19, severe acute respiratory syndrome, antiviral, prophylaxis, hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine, azithromycin.

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Article Details

Year: 2021
Published on: 12 November, 2020
Article ID: e130621187910
Pages: 10
DOI: 10.2174/2666796701999201112125319

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