End the Fear: There Is a Treatment for Coronavirus

 

As I wrote before, in “Cue the Congas, Chloroquine Cures Corona,” there is now an effective treatment (and preventative!) for COVID-19. The story is now getting coverage and more press, which is very important so we can lift all this “shelter in place” nonsense. Woo-hoo!

On Thursday, Donald Trump announced that the FDA has now formally allowed prescribing chloroquine for Covid-19. You can read the papers here.

There’s also new study in the prestigious journal Nature, “Remdesivir and chloroquine effectively inhibit the recently emerged novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in vitro.” The excerpt:

Chloroquine, a widely-used anti-malarial and autoimmune disease drug, has recently been reported as a potential broad-spectrum antiviral drug. Chloroquine is known to block virus infection by increasing endosomal pH required for virus/cell fusion, as well as interfering with the glycosylation of cellular receptors of SARS-CoV. Our time-of-addition assay demonstrated that chloroquine functioned at both entry, and at post-entry stages of the 2019-nCoV infection in Vero E6 cells (Fig. 1c, d). Besides its antiviral activity, chloroquine has an immune-modulating activity, which may synergistically enhance its antiviral effect in vivo. Chloroquine is widely distributed in the whole body, including lung, after oral administration. The EC90 value of chloroquine against the 2019-nCoV in Vero E6 cells was 6.90 μM, which can be clinically achievable as demonstrated in the plasma of rheumatoid arthritis patients who received 500 mg administration.11 Chloroquine is a cheap and a safe drug that has been used for more than 70 years and, therefore, it is potentially clinically applicable against the 2019-nCoV.

Let’s stop all this nonsense and get everyone’s lives back on track!

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  1. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    iWe,

    You’re not going to make me put this up again. OK, OK!

    They need to get on the supply side of Chloroquine immediately. Whatever it takes.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #1
  2. Jules PA Member
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    Surely, G-d holds us in the palm of his hand.

    I pray everyone who needs treatment will get it. And those not yet symptomatic remain symptom and disease free. 

    It’s probably too soon, but I have tears of relief.

    • #2
  3. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Gin and Tonic, or a Vodka and Tonic might be worth a trip to the liquor store tomorrow.

    • #3
  4. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude
    @GrannyDude

    Hopehopehopehopehope…

     

    Since things are looking up, can I ask y’all something? 

    Does this seem odd to you:

    “The German chancellor addressed the people on Wednesday evening stating: “The situation is serious. Take it seriously. Since German unification, no, since the Second World War, there has been no challenge to our nation that has demanded such a degree of common and united action.”

    ???

     

    • #4
  5. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Hopehopehopehopehope…

     

    Since things are looking up, can I ask y’all something?

    Does this seem odd to you:

    “The German chancellor addressed the people on Wednesday evening stating: “The situation is serious. Take it seriously. Since German unification, no, since the Second World War, there has been no challenge to our nation that has demanded such a degree of common and united action.”

    ???

    A welcome honesty about global warming.

    • #5
  6. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Hopehopehopehopehope…

     

    Since things are looking up, can I ask y’all something?

    Does this seem odd to you:

    “The German chancellor addressed the people on Wednesday evening stating: “The situation is serious. Take it seriously. Since German unification, no, since the Second World War, there has been no challenge to our nation that has demanded such a degree of common and united action.”

    ???

    Granny,

    Perhaps Mrs. Merkel has something else on her mind. I have been working on a short post to explain. Now that you’ve mentioned her and asked the question, I guess I should hit the button.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #6
  7. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude
    @GrannyDude

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Hopehopehopehopehope…

     

    Since things are looking up, can I ask y’all something?

    Does this seem odd to you:

    “The German chancellor addressed the people on Wednesday evening stating: “The situation is serious. Take it seriously. Since German unification, no, since the Second World War, there has been no challenge to our nation that has demanded such a degree of common and united action.”

    ???

    Granny,

    Perhaps Mrs. Merkel has something else on her mind. I have been working on a short post to explain. Now that you’ve mentioned her and asked the question, I guess I should hit the button.

    Regards,

    Jim

    Oh good! That answers my question—it seems odd to you! 

    • #7
  8. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    There’s a back door available to us that would also allow the country to get back to functioning: a reliable antibody test. I’m asking this question of Dr. Savage too, and I’m quoting myself from that thread here:

    It seems to me that it is critically important to identify the antibodies to this covid-19 virus that some people were either born with and thus have right now or have acquired through recent exposure.

    It would be unbelievably helpful to identify people who are immune to this and who can help others safely. And it would help people who have the antibody to have some important peace of mind.

    My daughter had one of the serious reactions to her first MMR that the CCD says precludes her from having additional MMR vaccines because it would be dangerous. When my daughter was on her way to college and needed the vaccine record, my pediatrician had my daughter’s blood tested to make sure that she had the required antibodies. When we got the positive results, my pediatrician told me to staple it to my daughter’s birth certificate along with my pediatrician’s letter that she could not have another MMR shot. This test result and the letter were sufficient to please the college and later on the passport office.

    If we could obtain this antibody information and test for it, then life could go back to normal for a lot of people who have a natural immunity to this bug. We could lift the quarantine of places and return to quarantining individuals.

    I wonder how far we are from having that test.

    • #8
  9. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    CNN and the NYT are hammering Trump for saying it was approved, when it was NOT. CNN has to rush to fact-checking. 

    Facts First: Chloroquine has not been approved by the FDA to treat the coronavirus — and nor has any other drug, the FDA made clear in a post-briefing statement that said “there are no FDA-approved therapeutics or drugs to treat, cure or prevent COVID-19.” Because chloroquine has been approved for other purposes, doctors are legally allowed to prescribe it for the unapproved or “off-label” use of treating the coronavirus if they want. But its safety and effectiveness has not been proven with regard to the coronavirus. FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn, speaking after Trump at the briefing, said that chloroquine would be tested through a “large, pragmatic clinical trial” with coronavirus patients.

    TRUMP LIED! NINETEEN PINOCCHIOS! MARKETS TANK! NO SANE HAND ON THE RUDDER!

    To me, it sounds like this:

    “Dad, can I go to this party?”

    I don’t approve.

    “Yes, but can I go? I will behave.”

    I don’t approve.

    “Can I take the car?”

    Yes. 

    Old bureaucratic rules seem to be toppling with remarkable speed. The very people who would scream about profits-before-people if the FDA approved a “large, pragmatic clinical trial” of an unproven drug are now praying for just that, while simutaneously spending the majority of their public energy on correcting a remark as if the news of Chloroquine’s possible efficacy was less important. 

    • #9
  10. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    James Lileks

    CNN and the NYT are hammering Trump for saying it was approved, when it was NOT. CNN has to rush to fact-checking. 

    The FDA allows prescribing chloroquine. It is an off-label use (the majority of scrips these days are off-label), but because the drug is old (1945) and very well understood with regards to side-effects, it is both cheap to make, much safer to dispense than anything new, and now publicly recognized as an actual treatment method. The FDA may never get around to “allowing” this use, just as they do not “allow” some 80% of pediatric prescriptions which are similarly off-label.

    But there is a solution. It can be prescribed. It will surely save lives. And it means the “old” numbers on running out of ventilators are now irrelevant.

    • #10
  11. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    The very people who would scream about profits-before-people if the FDA approved a “large, pragmatic clinical trial” of an unproven drug are now praying for just that, while simutaneously spending the majority of their public energy on correcting a remark as if the news of Chloroquine’s possible efficacy was less important. 

    James,

    You have the woketard media pegged exactly. They will spend endless amount of time yammering about some tweet and how it didn’t measure up to their often bizarre standards. Meanwhile, they haven’t a clue about anything that will make a substantial difference.

    To say they are worth nothing is to give them a compliment. They are worth considerably less than nothing.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #11
  12. Scott R Member
    Scott R
    @ScottR

    Is there any word on whether this drug is widely available in NY now? Or tomorrow or the next day? Time is of the essence.

    Should be a layup logistically relatively speaking, no? 

    • #12
  13. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Scott R (View Comment):

    Is there any word on whether this drug is widely available in NY now? Or tomorrow or the next day? Time is of the essence.

    Should be a layup logistically relatively speaking, no?

    I know in Montefiore, NY, they are now giving it in the hospital.

    It is a VERY common drug.

    • #13
  14. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    In France, for instance, a professor conducted a small study of the malaria drug in 24 patients with novel coronavirus infections. Of those who received the medicine, only 25% tested positive for the virus after 6 days, according to en24. Meanwhile, of those who didn’t receive it, 90% tested positive after that timeframe. The French government now plans to run larger studies. 

    source

    • #14
  15. Sandy Member
    Sandy
    @Sandy

    iWe (View Comment):

    Scott R (View Comment):

    Is there any word on whether this drug is widely available in NY now? Or tomorrow or the next day? Time is of the essence.

    Should be a layup logistically relatively speaking, no?

    I know in Montefiore, NY, they are now giving it in the hospital.

    It is a VERY common drug.

    Pharmacist Gopesh Patel in Brooklyn is compounding the drug.  There are many other compounding pharmacies  that should be able to provide this if it is not otherwise available. Last night Laura Ingraham interviewed Dr. Grace of Lenox Hill Hospital, who said they had 100 patients who were being treated with the drug, and that all had survived.  

     

    • #15
  16. danok1 Member
    danok1
    @danok1

    iWe (View Comment):

    Scott R (View Comment):

    Is there any word on whether this drug is widely available in NY now? Or tomorrow or the next day? Time is of the essence.

    Should be a layup logistically relatively speaking, no?

    I know in Montefiore, NY, they are now giving it in the hospital.

    It is a VERY common drug.

    Yup. I was on it for a couple of years for inflammatory arthritis. It’s commonly prescribed as part of a 3-drug cocktail of methotrexate, sulfasalazine, and planquanil. The only adverse effect would be chloroquine retinopathy, which generally occurs during long-term use or high dosage.

    It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, the safest and most effective medicines needed in a health system. It is also a generic. 

    • #16
  17. danok1 Member
    danok1
    @danok1

    Sandy (View Comment):

    iWe (View Comment):

    Scott R (View Comment):

    Is there any word on whether this drug is widely available in NY now? Or tomorrow or the next day? Time is of the essence.

    Should be a layup logistically relatively speaking, no?

    I know in Montefiore, NY, they are now giving it in the hospital.

    It is a VERY common drug.

    Pharmacist Gopesh Patel in Brooklyn is compounding the drug. There are many other compounding pharmacies that should be able to provide this if it is not otherwise available. Last night Laura Ingraham interviewed Dr. Grace of Lenox Hill Hospital, who said they had 100 patients who were being treated with the drug, and that all had survived.

    There’s no need to use compounding pharmacies. This drug is widely available and a prescription can really be filled anywhere.

    • #17
  18. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    iWe, this is encouraging news, but it’s still very early.

    The study in Nature is in vitro, meaning that the drug is effective against the virus in a test tube (or petri dish).  It does not mean that it is effective in patients.

    The study that you linked about the French study is extremely small, just 24 patients.  It does not say that it cures serious cases.  It shows a decrease in the period of time in which people carry the virus.  Larger studies will be necessary to confirm this result.

    It’s certainly a cause for hope, but I think that it’s too early to be popping the champagne cork.

    • #18
  19. Sandy Member
    Sandy
    @Sandy

    danok1 (View Comment):

    Sandy (View Comment):

    iWe (View Comment):

    Scott R (View Comment):

    Is there any word on whether this drug is widely available in NY now? Or tomorrow or the next day? Time is of the essence.

    Should be a layup logistically relatively speaking, no?

    I know in Montefiore, NY, they are now giving it in the hospital.

    It is a VERY common drug.

    Pharmacist Gopesh Patel in Brooklyn is compounding the drug. There are many other compounding pharmacies that should be able to provide this if it is not otherwise available. Last night Laura Ingraham interviewed Dr. Grace of Lenox Hill Hospital, who said they had 100 patients who were being treated with the drug, and that all had survived.

    There’s no need to use compounding pharmacies. This drug is widely available and a prescription can really be filled anywhere.

    That is correct, but apparently there are docs in Brooklyn who prefer the compounded version, so it should be available in various forms, generic and otherwise.  Production is being increased here, and I imagine in other places, as well.

    • #19
  20. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    Without meaning to be too much of a wet blanket, everyone should be aware that the existing data on the ability of chloroquine to treat Covid-19 is still much flimsier than it is being presented in numerous locations online.

    To start, while the cell culture data is very strong within the cell culture, cell culture experiments in general are known to be only poor predictors of efficacy in actual humans. The differences between a model system and the complexity of the human body are simply too great. That’s not to say that a positive result in cell culture can’t also be positive in humans – just that there are countless drugs that showed great promise against a certain virus in cell culture that never pan out in clinical use. The first year of my PhD was devoted to one of these, but there is also an entire journal full of promising drug candidates that will never see the light of a doctor’s office.

    Which brings us to the clinical data supposedly already in existence about chloroquine. It’s somewhat peculiar. Given the urgency of the situation, every major medical journal has dropped their paywall, expedited their review process, and are publishing all-corona-all-the-time. So it’s never been faster or easier for clinicians to announce promising results (or otherwise) immediately to the wider scientific community.

    And this is where I get confused: it’s impossible to find any data from these much-touted clinical trials showing positive results for chloroquine. There are lots of vague references to them, but the actual data seems impossible to find. Contrast that with the recent clinical trial showing disappointing results for lopinavir/ritonavir, which can be easily found in the NEJM. The best I could do for this trial in Marseille was a YouTube video of a PowerPoint presentation the research gave to his coworkers. That’s not very promising.

    • #20
  21. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    In any case, approval or not doctors have been giving Covid-19 patients chloroquine for quite a few weeks now. Indeed, they’ve been giving their patients everything they can find in their medicine cabinet. If chloroquine was a wonder drug, we would likely have heard about it from other more reputable sources by now.

    That’s not to say there’s no hope. But the certainty with which this development has been announced is simply not backed up by the data yet. In any case, as I said above, every single drug that could conceivably work is being tested right now by somebody somewhere, so if there is an existing drug that works we’ll probably know sooner than later.

    • #21
  22. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge
    DonG (skeptic)
    @DonG

     

    This is an article on the biology of these therapeutics.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/03/20/wuhan-coronavirus-therapies-scientific-background/

    • #22
  23. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    It’s certainly a cause for hope, but I think that it’s too early to be popping the champagne cork.

    I am not popping corks. I am trying to end the current madness, wherein we destroy the livelihoods of millions and the lives of many thousands, for no net gain in actual lives lost. As per this fantastic presentation.

    We are doing almost everything exactly wrong. We should be properly quarantining the old, and getting everyone else back to work/school/life without any further delay.

     

    • #23
  24. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    The very people who would scream about profits-before-people if the FDA approved a “large, pragmatic clinical trial” of an unproven drug are now praying for just that, while simutaneously spending the majority of their public energy on correcting a remark as if the news of Chloroquine’s possible efficacy was less important.

    James,

    You have the woketard media pegged exactly. They will spend endless amount of time yammering about some tweet and how it didn’t measure up to their often bizarre standards. Meanwhile, they haven’t a clue about anything that will make a substantial difference.

    To say they are worth nothing is to give them a compliment. They are worth considerably less than nothing.

    Regards,

    Jim

    Just so. Getting a good signal-to-noise ratio has always been a problem, but the press actively engages in signal cancelling. 

    • #24
  25. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Gin and Tonic, or a Vodka and Tonic might be worth a trip to the liquor store tomorrow.

    My wife’s way ahead of ya . . .

    • #25
  26. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Hopehopehopehopehope…

     

    Since things are looking up, can I ask y’all something?

    Does this seem odd to you:

    “The German chancellor addressed the people on Wednesday evening stating: “The situation is serious. Take it seriously. Since German unification, no, since the Second World War, there has been no challenge to our nation that has demanded such a degree of common and united action.”

    ???

     

    Seems like the rantings of a wizened pol on her way out after releasing a scourge (Muslim refugees) on her country . . .

    • #26
  27. Scott R Member
    Scott R
    @ScottR

    iWe, given that Chloroquine was a common drug that’s been used in kinda sorta similar situations in the past, what the heck took so long? Why wasn’t it being used, even just as a last resort, in Milan as they started stacking the bodies three weeks ago?

    It’s like someone who endures a novel strange new pain for two months before it occurs to him to try aspirin. I must be missing something, but what?

    • #27
  28. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Scott R (View Comment):

    iWe, given that Chloroquine was a common drug that’s been used in kinda sorta similar situations in the past, what the heck took so long? Why wasn’t it being used, even just as a last resort, in Milan as they started stacking the bodies three weeks ago?

    It’s like someone who endures a novel strange new pain for two months before it occurs to him to try aspirin. I must be missing something, but what?

    You are missing the almost-religious belief in the government approval process for drugs.

    • #28
  29. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    iWe (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    It’s certainly a cause for hope, but I think that it’s too early to be popping the champagne cork.

    I am not popping corks. I am trying to end the current madness, wherein we destroy the livelihoods of millions and the lives of many thousands, for no net gain in actual lives lost. As per this fantastic presentation.

    We are doing almost everything exactly wrong. We should be properly quarantining the old, and getting everyone else back to work/school/life without any further delay.

     

    I’m totally on board with that, ready to pull on the oars with you.  Actually, it’s what I’ve been doing, too.

    After the teleconference today with Dr. Savage, I’m even more inclined to believe that we need to get things back to normal, and ride this one out.  I don’t say that it will be easy.  My impression is that, if the dire predictions are true, there’s nothing that we can do to stop it.  We might as well get through it quickly, with minimal disruption.

    • #29
  30. Sandy Member
    Sandy
    @Sandy

    There have been reports, which I’m not in a position to evaluate,  that IV Vitamin C has been used with some success in Shanghai. http://www.drwlc.com/blog/2020/03/18/hospital-treatment-of-serious-and-critical-covid-19-infection-with-high-dose-vitamin-c/

     

    • #30