Coronavirus and chloroquine: Is there evidence it works? BBC News

Coronavirus and chloroquine: Is there evidence it works?

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There has been a global surge in demand for drugs normally used against malaria to tackle the coronavirus, as governments urgently seek out treatments for the new disease.

Chloroquine, and a related derivative, hydroxychloroquine, have gained attention — despite the World Health Organization (WHO) saying there is no definitive evidence they work.

So what is the current evidence of their effectiveness as a treatment for the coronavirus, and who is using them?

What do we know about these drugs?

President Trump has frequently referred to the potential of hydroxychloroquine in White House briefings. At a recent press conference, he referred to it and said: «What do you have to lose? Take it.»

Tablets containing chloroquine have long been used in the treatment of malaria to reduce fever and inflammation, and the hope is that they can also inhibit the virus that causes Covid-19.

«Chloroquine seems to block the coronavirus in lab studies. There’s some anecdotal evidence from doctors saying it has appeared to help,» says James Gallagher, BBC health correspondent.

There is insufficient evidence at the moment from current trials as to their effective use in treatment of patients with Covid-19.

There are also risks of serious side effects, including renal and liver damage.

«We need larger, high-quality randomised clinical trials in order to better evaluate their effectiveness,» says University of Oxford’s Kome Gbinigie, author of a report on anti-malarial testing for Covid-19.

More than 20 trials are being carried out, including in the US, UK, Spain and China.

Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove says the UK is «conducting rapid clinical trials on anti-malarials» to assess if they are able to reduce the impact of Covid-19 on those affected.

In the US, various trials are under way for a combination of drugs including chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine and an antibiotic called azithromycin, for treating Covid-19 patients.

Which countries have authorised their use?

The US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), the body in charge of licensing medicines in America, has granted «emergency use» authorisation for these drugs in the treatment of Covid-19 for a limited number of hospitalised cases.

That does not mean the FDA is saying they definitely work. But it does mean that in specific circumstances, hospitals can request and use the medicines from government stockpiles for use in Covid-19 treatment.

Other countries are also deploying these anti-malarial drugs to varying degrees.

France has authorised doctors to prescribe them for patients with Covid-19, but the country’s medical watchdog has warned of side effects.

India’s health ministry has recommended the use of hydroxychloroquine as a preventative treatment for healthcare workers, as well as households in contact with confirmed cases if they have a prescription from a doctor.

However, India’s government research body has warned against the unrestricted usage of the anti-malarial drug and said it was «experimental» and only for emergency situations.

Several Middle Eastern countries have authorised its use or are conducting trials. This includes Bahrain (which claims it was one of the first countries to use hydroxychloroquine on coronavirus patients), Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.

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Is there enough chloroquine available?

As interest in these drugs has grown as a potential treatment for Covid-19, many countries have seen high demand and shortages.

Chloroquine and its derivatives have long been widely available in pharmacies, particularly in developing countries, for the treatment of malaria.

This is despite their declining efficacy against malaria, as the disease has become increasingly resistant.

Jordan has banned the sale of hydroxychloroquine in pharmacies to prevent stockpiling. Similarly, the Kuwaiti Health Ministry decided to withdraw all medicines containing the drugs from private pharmacies and limit them to hospitals and health centres.

Kenya has banned over-the-counter sales of chloroquine, so it is now only available on prescription.

India is a major producer of these antimalarial drugs, and has imposed a ban on exports.

President Trump has made a personal plea to India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, for access to the drugs for use in the United States. It has been reported that India is considering this request.

Unregulated use can be unsafe

In Nigeria, households still regularly use tablets containing chloroquine for treating malaria, even though it was banned in 2005 for first-line use because of its declining effectiveness.

News of a February study in China about the use of chloroquine for the coronavirus had already sparked lively debate in Lagos, so people began stocking up.

Following Mr Trump’s reference to it as a coronavirus treatment, this ramped up, and shops and chemists sold out of the drug very quickly.

But the Nigerian Centres for Disease Control has told people to stop taking it. «The WHO has NOT approved the use of chloroquine for #COVID19 management.»

Officials in Lagos state say there have been a number of people poisoned from overdoses of chloroquine.

How Chemotherapy Works

Articles On Chemotherapy for Cancer

Chemotherapy for Cancer

Chemotherapy for Cancer — How Chemotherapy Works

Chemotherapy is one of the most common treatments for cancer. It uses certain drugs to kill cancer cells or to stop them from growing and spreading to other parts of your body. Your doctor might prescribe chemo by itself or with surgery or radiation therapy. You might also take newer kinds of cancer-fighting drugs along with chemotherapy.

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You can take chemo as pills or shots. You might go to a clinic or hospital so you can get the drugs through an IV, what doctors call an infusion.

To help your body regain strength and grow new, healthy cells, you might take the drugs over a few weeks. You might take doses every day, every week, or every month. It depends on the type of cancer you have and how severe it is.

Your cancer doctor, called an oncologist, may prescribe one chemo drug or a mix of different ones, depending on:

  • Your type of cancer
  • Whether you’ve had cancer before
  • If you have other health problems like diabetes or heart, kidney, or liver disease

Why You Need Chemotherapy

Even after surgery to remove a tumor, your body might still have cancer cells. These cells can grow new tumors or spread the cancer to other parts of your body.

Chemotherapy drugs help destroy, shrink, or control those cells. It might also treat symptoms the cancer causes, like pain. You might also get chemo to shrink a tumor before your doctor removes it in surgery.

How It Works

Chemotherapy drugs work in a few different ways. They can:

  • Kill both cancerous and healthy cells
  • Fight only cancer cells
  • Keep tumors from growing blood vessels, which help them thrive
  • Attack the cancer cells’ genes so the cells die and can’t grow into new tumors

Common Chemotherapy Drugs

There are dozens of chemotherapy drugs that doctors can prescribe. They’re often divided into groups based on how they work and what they’re made of. Each group of drugs destroys or shrinks cancer cells in a different way.

  • Some drugs damage the DNA of cancer cells to keep them from making more copies of themselves. They are called alkylating agents, the oldest type of chemotherapy. They treat many different types of cancer, such as leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, multiple myeloma, and sarcoma, as well as breast, lung, and ovarian cancers. Some examples of alkylating agents are cyclophosphamide, melphalan, and temozolomide. As they kill bad cells, though, they can also destroy your bone marrow in the process, which can cause leukemia years later. To lower this risk, you can take the drugs in small doses. One type of alkylating agent, platinum drugs like carboplatin, cisplatin, or oxaliplatin, has a lower risk of causing leukemia.
  • One type of chemo drug interferes with the normal metabolism of cells, which makes them stop growing. These drugs are called antimetabolites. Doctors often use them to treat leukemia and cancer in the breasts, ovaries, and intestines. Drugs in this group include 5-fluorouracil, 6-mercaptopurine, cytarabine, gemcitabine, and methotrexate, among many others.
  • Anthracycline chemotherapy attacks the enzymes inside cancer cells’ DNA that help them divide and grow. They work for many types of cancer. Some of these drugs are actinomycin-D, bleomycin, daunorubicin, and doxorubicin, among others. High doses of anti-tumor antibiotics can damage your heart or lungs. So your doctor will have you take them for a short time.
  • Drugs called mitotic inhibitors stop cancer cells from making more copies of themselves. They can also stop your body from making the proteins that cancer cells need to grow. Doctors might prescribe them for breast and lung cancers and types of myeloma, leukemia, and lymphoma. Mitotic inhibitors include docetaxel, estramustine, paclitaxel, and vinblastine.
  • Another type of medicine, called topoisomerase inhibitors, also attacks enzymes that help cancer cells divide and grow. They treat some types of leukemia and cancer of the lung, ovaries, and intestines, among other types. This group of medicine includes etoposide, irinotecan, teniposide, and topotecan. Some of them, though, may raise your odds of getting a second cancer a few years later.
  • Steroids are drugs that act like your body’s own hormones. They are useful in treating many types of cancer, and they can keep you from having nausea and vomiting after a round of chemo. They can also prevent allergic reactions to some of the drugs. Some of the steroids your doctor might prescribe are prednisone, methylprednisolone, and dexamethasone.


Other Cancer Drugs

Chemotherapy is a common cancer treatment, but today, doctors often prescribe other kinds of cancer medicines, such as targeted therapies, hormone therapy, and immunotherapy. Unlike chemo, these types of medicine are better at attacking only cancer cells and leaving healthy cells alone. That means they cause milder side effects. Your doctor might recommend that you take them along with chemo drugs or on their own.

How Can You Tell if It’s Working?

Your oncologist will watch your body’s response during and after treatment.

She’ll look for signs that your tumor is shrinking or growing. She’ll use tests like physical exams, blood tests, or imaging scans like X-rays.

If your treatment doesn’t seem to be working, she might give you a different dose or a mix of other treatments.


The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania: “Chemotherapy Primer: Why? What? And How?”

American Cancer Society: “Deciding Which Chemotherapy Drugs to Use,” “Different Types of Chemotherapy Drugs,” “Questions About Chemotherapy,” “Types of Targeted Therapies Used to Treat Cancer.”

University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center: “Chemotherapy.”

National Cancer Institute: “Chemotherapy and You.”

How to Get Rid of Roaches: 3 Easy Steps For Lasting Results

Find out how to get rid of roaches by yourself and not go crazy. Trying to eliminate them is frustrating if you don’t know what you’re doing. No matter what you try, their numbers don’t seem to go down at all. When you think they’re finally gone because you haven’t seen them in a while, they suddenly appear! It can feel like all that effort and money goes to waste.

Having been through that nightmare, I’ve learned how to kill them off for good, so I’m sharing what I’ve learned with you. Hopefully you don’t have to suffer as much as I did.

Best Roach Killer

Here’s what I think is hands down, the best roach solution. It’s meant as a quick answer for those who are in a rush. Read the rest of the page get all the details you’ll need to successfully get rid of them for good.

  1. Use professional-grade roach baits. I use Advion Syngenta Gel Bait. Baits are the best when you use the right stuff, and you use it correctly. Apply bait to the bottom of major appliances, baseboards, trash bins, cracks, and crevices.
  2. Dust with boric acid powder. Baits get even better when combined with boric acid powder. A thin layer is critical and a bulb duster is the secret to getting the perfect amount. Dust areas of the house where there is high roach traffic. Some of these locations include: inside cabinets, behind appliances and wherever you see a lot of roach droppings.
  3. Keep the house clean. Clean every night and put food away. With limited access to food, they won’t say no to the bait.
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This is the most effective method I’ve ever used to eradicate these pests. However, you have to be patient. This solution doesn’t provide instant, visible results like DemonWP, but it gives lasting results.

Continue reading below to get all the steps to getting the best results.

1. Identify & Find Out Why You Have Roaches

Know what you’re dealing with. There are over 3,000 known species of roaches in the world, but you’re likely only dealing with one of the four species that are well-known to be pests.

  • The German cockroach (Blattella germanica), the most common.
  • The American cockroach ( Periplaneta americana)
  • The brown-banded cockroach
  • The Oriental cockroach

Which species are you dealing with?

Knowing which type of cockroach you’re dealing with will make your fight against them much more straightforward. Different species have different preferences for food and shelter.

The easiest way to determine the species you’re dealing with is to catch a few of them. They don’t have to be alive, so I recommend using sticky traps (also known as monitor glue traps) like the Catchmaster Glue Trap/Monitor. These are simple traps commonly made of cardboard and strong adhesives that keep them in place.

Tip 1: To speed up the process of catching these pests for identification, add some small food crumbs in the middle of the trap. The bits will lure the roaches to the adhesive (because they won’t be able to reach the food crumb otherwise).

Tip 2: Choose where you place your traps wisely. Just any random location won’t work very well. Place them near familiar hiding places like crevices and baseboards.

Once you’ve captured a few, pick up the monitor and inspect the roaches. Use the information on this website to identify them based on their physical characteristics.

Why are they attracted to your home?

You have a problem, and there is a reason for it. These pests are looking for a place that provides warmth, shelter from the elements and has easy access to food & water. Your home has everything they want.

The necessities for survival is found in any home, but why did they choose your place? The smell of food is what gets their attention.

Once they make their way in and discover their necessities for survival are easily available, they’ll call in others and invade your home. They then quickly multiply to almost uncontrollable numbers if not handled correctly.

2. Keep Them Away

The best way to repel cockroaches is a clean home. The “smell” of a clean home is what keeps them away. You wouldn’t have a problem with these bugs if you cut off their food and water sources completely. They wouldn’t be attracted to your home if they didn’t smell food.

Alright, we can both agree it’s impossible to cut off their food and water supply entirely. However, we can make it less attractive for them. With fewer roaches coming in from the outside, we can focus on eliminating those that are inside.

Reduce food sources

Make it harder for them to eat.

  • Don’t leave dirty dishes overnight
  • Put food away in sealed containers
  • Sweep & vacuum daily
  • Keep garbage in tightly closed containers
  • Take out the trash often

Reduce water sources

Make it harder for them to drink.

  • Fix leaky plumbing (including fixtures that drip)
  • Dry all sinks in the house every single night before bedtime
  • Cover all drains at night
  • Wipe and dry spills
  • Empty and dry pet water bowls at night

Keep it clean and tidy

I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep your home clean. You have to clean every day. Reduce clutter and keep things neat. A messy house provides them with plenty of safe places to nest.

3. Use These 5 Ways to Get Rid of Cockroaches

There are many ways to remedy this problem, but these 5 are what I found to work the best. You can find all the different methods with full details in the articles listed towards the bottom.

Fast results with professional-grade contact killers

I just had to include professional-grade, concentrated insecticides used for spraying applications. Nothing else comes close to instant results.

The pros use these to make a living by providing quick & visible results. I’ve used it many times with fantastic results in a short amount of time.

Being a contact killer, any cockroach that makes direct contact with the poison can die in a matter of seconds. For some roaches, it can take a couple of minutes longer, but that is still very quick compared to other methods.

DemonWP is my all-time favorite brand. Mix the concentrate with water and spray it in appropriate locations using a dependable sprayer like this Smith 1 gallon sprayer.

Locations you don’t want to skip:

All-natural boric acid and borax

Boric acid is my favorite all-natural remedy. Even professional exterminators love using this solution to control insects and other unwanted bugs.

An alternative that may be easier to locate is borax powder. Borax can often be found in the laundry aisle. Borax is often confused with boric acid, but they are not identical. Both work amazingly well at killing roaches, and application is the same.

To get the best results, lightly dust the powder using a bulb duster. The bulb duster lets you spread a thin layer of dust. In cases where these powder didn’t work, it was because the user had applied too much of it.

Once the powder is dusted and an unsuspecting cockroach walks through, it clings to their legs. From just the physical contact alone, the powder destroys their protective exoskeleton. When they clean themselves after contact is made, it’ll also poison them from the inside (because they end up ingesting it).

Tip: You can mix boric acid or borax with a little sugar and water to create a very potent homemade DIY bait.

Roach baits

What if we could get those roaches to kill each other? We can do just that with cockroach bait. There are different brands and a few different varieties of roach baits out there.

  • Advion Cockroach Gel Bait. For gel baits, none has worked better than this one. If I had to choose ONLY one solution, I would pick Advion Roach Gel (You can buy it from Amazon).
  • Bait stations. Unlike the gel that comes in a tube, bait stations come in a container that keeps the bait enclosed (I recommend buying the Advion Bait Stations). These are a little better to use around pets because they help reduce the chances of your beloved pet being able to get to the roach bait. Baiting with bait stations is also easy and convenient.

Fun fact, the active ingredient for some of these baits is boric acid. It’s an incredibly potent roach poison. If it’s poison, why would a cockroach ever eat it? The attractant mixed into the bait is what makes them irresistible. It’s so good, they’ll even bring some back for the others hanging out in the nest (which is precisely what you’re hoping for).

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The poison (active ingredient) will stay in their feces. Other roaches (especially baby roaches) will eat the feces and get poisoned as well. What does this mean? It means you only need some of them to eat it and they’ll kill off the rest for you.

Non-toxic diatomaceous earth

An all-natural and non-toxic alternative for getting rid of roaches is diatomaceous earth (DE). I prefer the other solutions listed above. I’m adding this here for those who would prefer a non-toxic answer.

If you’d prefer to use this solution instead, buy food grade diatomaceous earth and apply it the same way you would with boric acid or borax powder. Remember to use a bulb duster because it makes a difference.

Insect Growth Regulators (IGR)

Insect growth regulators work very well, and they are vital to any serious attempt to get rid of a cockroach infestation. The only problem is they don’t work by themselves.

IGRs are artificial hormones. They do not kill roaches. They help stop juvenile cockroaches from being able to reach adulthood and prevent eggs from hatching.

You can find a few different brands out there, but I use and recommend buying Gentrol.

Additional Tips

More tips to get better results quicker.

  • Start with one solution.
  • Monitor the results. Keep a written record of what was used, where it was used, and when it was used.
  • Record any other relevant information, such as the amount of pesticide used (if any), as well as any other consistent observations. The more data you have, the easier for you to achieve the results you want–zero roaches in your home.
  • After a month, assess your pest problem. Has the population decreased? Has it stayed the same? Did it get worse?
  • If their numbers haven’t decreased at all, choose a new method. If their population has gone down a little bit, keep at it for another month.
  • Take the time to learn more about what you’re dealing with. You can find information here by following the links below. The U of M also provides additional info.

Below is a list of all the information available on this website. Take some time to go through them to learn more about how to get rid of roaches for good.

More Information

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Leopard from cockroaches — how the drug works, effectiveness, use at home

Over the past two months, clinical trials on drugs for COVID-19 have been underway in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak. Chinese experts hope drugs that have shown their effectiveness against the virus in the laboratory will also work well on human patients.

Dr. Cao Bin, an expert in respiratory infections at Beijing’s China-Japan Friendship Hospital, told CGTN that clinical trials are going smoothly. He is now leading the clinical trials of drugs with possible positive effects on COVID-19 in Wuhan.

In January, doctors at Wuhan’s Jinyintan Hospital launched a randomized, controlled trial of the anti-HIV drugs lopinavir and ritonavir, a cocktail often marketed as kaletra. The pairing works by targeting protease, an enzyme both HIV and coronaviruses use to reproduce.

Cao noted that the trial for kaletra has finished, and the team has shared the results with the Chinese Ministry of Health. «During the last two months, we have successfully treated 199 cases,» said Cao.

It’s believed that China will share the results with the World Health Organization and the international community in the near future.

Dr. Cao is also the head of the clinical trials on another antiviral drug, remdesivir. Remdesivir is an experimental drug developed by the U.S. biotech company Gilead Sciences, which has shown good antiviral activity against SARS and MERS in previous cell and animal experiments.

The randomized, double-blind clinical trials of remdesivir started in early February in China. Cao said there are two trials on this drug underway – one includes mild to moderate cases and the other is aimed at severe and critical cases – and it seems both are going on successfully.

Cao pointed out that according to the test results, remdesivir shows stronger activity against coronavirus compared with kaletra. «If we have the positive results of kaletra, maybe we will have even better clinical and virologic outcomes of the remdesivir,» Cao added.

Cao said that a total of 297 patients are now in the clinical trial on remdesivir. He believes that there will be more COVID-19 patients joining the trial in the next one or two weeks.

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