Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 - A literature review
INTRODUCTION: The Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) is a picture of serious global health crisis and represents a situation of great uncertainty due to the lack of knowledge about the virus and about the management of patients that has been growing exponentially. Therefore, hypotheses have been raised for several drugs, including chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine (drugs used in the treatment of malaria and rheumatologic disorders). AIM: To identify and systematically evaluate the best available scientific evidence on the effectiveness and safety of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for COVID-19. MATERIAL AND METHODS: It is a literature review, which used the electronic search in the Virtual Health Library (VHL) and in PubMed, of studies in Portuguese or English, published in the last year, which presented the descriptors: "Coronavirus" or "Coronavirus Infections" "Chloroquine" and "Hydroxychloroquine", together with the Boolean operator "AND". For data analysis and interpretation the Bardin Content Analysis Method was used. RESULTS: Thirty-five articles out of the three hundred and sixty-two publications found met the inclusion criteria and were used to compose this review. The scientific literature, in general, is still divergent regarding the effectiveness of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine drugs in the treatment of COVID-19 disease. Most of the authors show that these drugs have little or no benefit, moreover, although these medications are safe, the borderline between therapeutic and toxic doses is narrow and severe disorders can be fatal. CONCLUSION: In view of the arguments presented, it is concluded that caution is needed regarding the use of these drugs in the treatment of patients infected by the new coronavirus, especially if the low level of evidence currently available and the possible adverse events of drug use are considered. It is expected that more studies on the subject will emerge in favor of minimizing the impacts of the coronavirus on the health of the population.
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