Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine as potential treatments for COVID-19

Ed note: This post discusses the use of some of pharmaceutical drugs that are being trialed in the treatment of COVID-19. If you would like to read an article that includes information about COVID-19 prevention strategies and other treatments that are being investigated as options for COVID-19 including intravenous vitamin C and herbal medicine, please go to this link:

NB: As important updates on the use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine become available they are being added to the end of this article.

Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine

Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are drugs that have been used to treat malaria (and some other conditions such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis) and have also shown to have activity against corona viruses. Information about these drugs is being listed here as these are the drugs about which there has been the most discussion in mainstream media.

France is now reportedly making hydroxychloroquine available for the treatment of COVID-19 after a small study showed that most people who were given the medication recovered faster: The study may be accessed via this link:

The following article notes that the antiviral activity of these drugs has been know for well over a decade:

This paper suggests that they may be worthwhile for treating  COVID-19.

This paper reports on a recent clinical trial:

A doctor in New York has claimed an almost 100% recovery rate for patients who had COVD-19 symptoms  (but were not so sick that they required admission to hospital) with using a combination of medications including hydroxychloroquine and you can read a letter he wrote (which includes dosages) at this link:

Additional information about chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine (and other pharmaceutical options) may be found at this link:

UPDATE 24 May 2020: A thoughtful article that discusses some of the more recent research into hydroxychloroquine may be read at the following link:

For ongoing updates on hydroxchloroquine, Michael J. A. Robb, M.D. has created a live document to track effectiveness of HCQ-based treatments which may be accessed here:

UPDATE 20 July 2020:

There is now an important update on the website of the Alliance for Human Research Protection at the following link:

UPDATES added 31 July 2020:

Dr. Zelenko has written a paper on his hydroxychloroquine based treatment and while it has NOT yet been peer-reviewed it is available at the following link: PLUS a recent interview with Dr. Zelenko is available at the following link:

Doctors in the USA who have been at the frontlines of the Covid-19 pandemic there have held a press release on Capitol Hill where they advocated for the use of hydroxychloroquine in early stage COVID-19 disease. A video of the press conference may be viewed at the following link on the video platform: and further information about the press release and hydroxychloroquine may be found on this site:

Medication availability:

Hydroxychloroquine is available in NZ and its datasheet is here: However, Pharmac recently changed its status so that the drug is NOT now funded for New Zealanders except those with specific pre-existing conditions (such as malaria or rheumatoid arthritis).

Update added 13 August 2020: Within the last week I have spoken with a technician in an Auckland pharmacy who told me that GPs in NZ could prescribe hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of Covid-19 here but the medication would NOT be subsidised. She gave an estimated cost for the medication as being about $25 for 100 tablets.

It was reported earlier this year that several DHBs in NZ will be enrolling patients in a clinical trial in which hydroxychloroquine will be used so this may provide access to this medication for some people.

Azithromycin is available in NZ and datasheets are below:

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