The CDC says two people have ingested non-Pharmaceutical Chloroquine phosphate to try to avoid the Coronavirus.
Chloroquine phosphate, when used without a perscription, can cause serious health effects, including death.
The dchemical is commonly sold at stores for pet use and says “for Ornamental Fish Use Only.”
After ingesting it, one of those patients died shortly after arriving at the hospital and the other became critically ill with severe gastrointestinal issues and cardiac conduction abnormalities.
The surviving patient says they saw information on the medical use of chloroquine on television and that they took it to prevent getting the disease.
The CDC says these commercially available aquarium-use chemicals may be out of stock due to potential increased demand by the public in light of the pandemic.
Right now, there are not any pharmaceutical products approved by the FDA to treat or prevent COVID-19.
Pharmaceutical chloroquine sulfate are approved by the FDA to treat specific medical conditions such as malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Right now, pharmaceutical chloroquine phosphate is being studied as a treatment for COVID-19, but its efficiency to prevent or treat the Coronavirus is still unknown.
The statement from the CDC went on to warn the public:
- Do not ingest aquarium use products or any other chemicals that contain chloroquine phosphate. These chemicals are not intended for human consumption and can lead to serious health consequences, including death.
- Medications like chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine sulfate should be taken only when prescribed by and under the supervision of your healthcare provider and always according to the instructions provided.
- Seek immediate medical attention if you are experiencing any unexpected symptoms after taking chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine by contacting your healthcare provider or your poison center (1-800-222-1222).
For More Information
- CDC coronavirus website (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus)
- U.S. Government coronavirus website (https://www.coronavirus.gov/external icon)
- FDA Letter to Stakeholders (https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/product-safety-information/fda-letter-stakeholders-do-not-use-chloroquine-phosphate-intended-fish-treatment-covid-19-humansexternal icon)
- Banner Health (Phoenix, AZ) press release (https://bannerhealth.mediaroom.com/chloroquinephosphateexternal icon)
- Dailymed (https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/index.cfmexternal icon) for medical prescribing information
- American College of Medical Toxicology (https://www.acmt.netexternal icon) for poisoning information
- Association of American Poison Control Centers (https://www.aapcc.orgexternal icon)