COVID-19: Why chloroquine has not been effective treatment – Expert

Posted by News Express | 10 June 2020 | 936 times

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A Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Peace Chinedum Babalola, has disclosed why chloroquine has failed to be an effective drug in the treatment of coronavirus infections in Nigeria.

According Babalola, who is also the Vice Chancellor of the Chrisland University, Abeokuta, Ogun State, “most of the trials have failed because almost 90 percent of the application is done at the severe stage, when the virus would have eaten deeper into the patient’ body”.

She stated this on Wednesday, while addressing journalists, at the university premises.

She noted that chloroquine, if administered at the early stage of the infection, will not only cure coronavirus but also stop the virus from replicating itself.

She further attributed the failure of the clinical trials of chloroquine in some quarters to the dosages and the stage at which it is applied in the treatment of COVID-19.

The VC, however, blamed the controversies surrounding clinical trials of chloroquine for coronavirus treatment on politics among the key players in the world health sector.

The Don, who won the African Union’s (AU) Kwame Nkrumah Award for Scientific Excellence at the 33rd AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, disclosed that the Western Nations use chloroquine for treatment of COVID-19 more than African countries.

“Chloroquine is actually being used to treat that we called auto-immune diseases. Chloroquine is used by the Western World today more than Africa to treat auto-immune diseases. coronavirus is an auto-immune disease that triggers something and your immunity begins to fight it.  Study has shown that chloroquine will only work at starting stage. There are many stages of the virus around five. Chloroquine has a long life line; it helps you not to allow the virus to key into the body and when the virus is already there, it helps in prevent replication.

“Why do we have conflicting results? Almost 90 per cent of the people that are saying chloroquine did not work are using chloroquine at that severe level when it is not very effective; it is already too late by the time you are using ventilators and all that,  because the body is looking for oxygen.

“The other thing is that they said why chloroquine is toxic. This is because the dosages they are using are also at toxic levels. They are higher than doses we are proposing. So, some of those doses are high and we are proposing that the doses should be reduced.  They should be higher than what we used for malaria because within three to four days, the parasite is gone, but for coronavirus, it engages so many organs, you can use it for longer period of five days and beyond”. Babalola stated.

The Pharmacist, however, called for proper and randomised clinical trial of chloroquine for the treatment of coronavirus.

She equally called for collaboration between orthodox and herbal medicine on the research and development of cure for the virus, submitting “Nigeria has no fewer than 8,000 documented medicinal plants”. (Daily Sun)

Source: News Express

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