All you need to know about coronavirus


Chloroquine vs. SARS-CoV-2

Is chloroquine effective in treating patients with COVID-19? Should it be used prophylactically to avoid new coronavirus infection? A stand on this matter was prepared by Polish pharmacy experts.

Stetoskop, laptop i dokumenty na biurku

Information prepared by: 

  • PAS Committe on Therapy and Drug Research,
  • PAS Committee of Physiological and Pharmacological Science,
  • Polish Pharmacological Society,
  • Polish Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics,
  • Polish Society of Hypertension,
  • Section of Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy of the Polish Cardiac Society.

Let us recall: on March 13, a pharmaceutical containing chloroquine phosphate (250 mg tablets), available on the Polish market, received a new therapeutic indication. It will be used as an adjunctive therapy in the treatment of beta coronavirus infections such as SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. The decision on this matter was issued by the president of the Office for Registration of Medicinal Products, Medical Devices and Biocidal Products. This is due to the COVID-19 pandemic announced two days earlier by the World Health Organization.

So far, this drug has been used, among others in the treatment of malaria, rheumatoid arthritis or lupus erythematosus. The recommended chloroquine phosphate dose for coronavirus infections is 250 mg 2 times a day for 7 to 10 days or – in justified cases – 500 mg 2 times a day for 7 to 10 days. In both variants, therapy should not exceed 10 days. The decision to prescribe the medicine belongs to the doctor.

Expert opinion

The authors of the position describe precisely the history and the effect of the drug (including its side effects) and interactions with other substances. They explain that the administration of chloroquine to patients with COVID-19 is justified only when taking all appropriate precautions.

"However, currently there are no sufficiently documented reports on the effectiveness of chloroquine in the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Considering all side effects associated with long-term administration of this drug, prophylactic use is unjustified and potentially dangerous at the current stage of knowledge," we read in the expert opinion.

The full content of the statement (in polish) available here.

About chloroquine

Chloroquine was first approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1949 to treat malaria and parenteral amebiasis. Despite many years of using chloroquine the precise way in which it works is still unclear and not fully understood.

Source of information: PAS Committee on Therapy and Drug Research