Health Editor’s Note: Trump announced that patients with pneumonia who are infected with COVID-19 were going to be treated with chloroquine which is a commonly used anti-malarial drug. He made another mistake that could be deadly to people (mostly males of African and Mediterranean descent) who have an often hidden genetic defect that affects important enzyme functions. The G6PD gene is responsible for processing of carbohydrate and protection of cells from harmful effects of free oxygen radicals. To make an important story shorter, someone with the G6PD gene, who is given chloroquine, may experience rupture of the red blood cells which are responsible for caring oxygen to the body tissues. Red blood cells rupturing is a major assault on a body, let alone having COVID-19 as well.
Why the concern for a genetic deficiency that many have not heard of? G6PD gene deficiency is common with 1 in 10 African-American U.S. males having this defect. This is the second most common human enzyme defect which affects 400 million people throughout the world.
Did Trump misspeak as he so often does? These are drugs with well, drug names and since he has no medical background would seem like Greek to him. Did he mean Hydroxychloroquine? Hydroxychloroquine is a drug which is slightly different in molecular structure from chloroquine thus it does not cause bursting of red blood cells in people with G6PD. This drug has shown effectiveness against COVID-19 and can be given to those who may or do have G6PD deficiency. The Chinese have done a study on both chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine and found that hydroxychloroquine is the most effective in treating COVID-19. It seems to me that hydroxychloroquine is the drug that should be used…..Carol
Chloroquine Is Not a Harmless Panacea for COVID-19
During a March 19 press conference, President Trump announced that chloroquine, a drug long used to treat malaria, was going to be made available for those stricken with COVID-19. This followed news of preliminary research, including a limited study in Australia, in which chloroquine showed promise in eradicating the coronavirus in some patients. Chinese research published in February suggested efficacy and safety of chloroquine in treating pneumonia associated with COVID-19. A subsequent Chinese study involving the use of both chloroquine and its molecular cousin, hydroxychloroquine, determined that hydroxychloroquine is the more potent of these two drugs in its inhibition of this novel coronavirus.
Controversy enveloped the announcement by the president, especially after he indicated that chloroquine has already been approved for this use by the FDA. The agency’s commissioner, Stephen Hahn, MD, quickly clarified that larger studies still need to be conducted to determine the safety and effectiveness of chloroquine for treating COVID-19. Much of the discussion that continued in the media throughout the day concerned whether the drug will truly prove effective and, if so, how long will it be until this medication gets the green light for patient use….Read More: