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As authorities begin clinical trials for several coronavirus treatments, antimalarial drugs and other antibiotics are starting to appear online, raising fears that people will search their own medicine cabinet for similar ingredients. AT at least one report suggests that a couple in Arizona turned to an aquarium cleaner believing that it was ingesting the antimalarial variation of chloroquine, resulting in the death of the man.
The report caused a harsh warning from Banner Health in Arizona that trying to create COVID-19 home remedies could flood already overwhelmed hospitals and put you at risk. Dr. Shannon Sovndal, a physician certified in emergency medicine and emergency medical services, had a similar message for those trying to whip up their own solutions.
Even if taken at the prescribed level, chloroquine can have unwanted side effects in patients, Dr. Deena Adimoolan, an internal medicine physician and endocrinologist in New York, told Fox News.
“It is a powerful drug and should not be taken lightly,” she said. “It should only be taken if it is prescribed by a healthcare professional and you should be monitored if it is necessary to take it long term.”
In addition, she said it was too early to say whether the drug had the impact on COVID-19 that officials are hoping for.
“We need more research to prove it works and we don’t have enough data to support its use for the prevention of COVID-19,” she said. “This medication is not approved to prevent COVID-19.”
People who get the powerful drug without a prescription can also be at risk of kidney disease, liver disease, blindness or even sudden death from an abnormal heart rhythm, said Adimoolan.
“This is a powerful drug that needs to be taken seriously,” said Adimoolan. “You should only take it on prescription from your doctor. Avoid buying it on the Internet. Avoid buying it from others. “
Obtaining illegal chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine, another drug tested, could also lead to a shortage for patients who need it, such as those with lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.
“We are already seeing this drug shortage across the country,” said Adimoolan.
For those looking to ward off the virus, Adimoolan had advice that echoed that of Sovndal and included social distancing, hand washing, isolation from illness and supporting your own immune system through sleep, a healthy diet and the incorporation of important vitamins.