One of the most promising medicines against coronavirus comes to € 6.75 the box

Already in the 16th century the indigenous peoples of Peru used the bark of the chinchonas to treat tremors and fever. Since then, cinchona extracts have been used successfully for all kinds of diseases, from malaria to rheumatoid arthritis or lupus erythematosus. Now, according to a Chinese article published in the journal 'BioScience Trends', it seems that it is also for the coronavirus. And, as Antonio Villarreal says, all for 6.75 euros, which is worth a box of chloroquine at the pharmacy.

Since two months ago the city of Wuhan set off all the alarms announcing a new contagious disease of unknown etiology, scientists around the world have been examining all known drugs one by one to assess their effect on the virus. The explanation is simple: their effectiveness may not be total, but they are known, safe and available drugs. Just what a crisis like this needs.

In the bowels of any pharmacy

A few days ago, a team of researchers from Qingdao University and the city's Municipal Hospital published data from a small clinical study suggesting that an old drug, chloroquine, had "apparent efficacy and acceptable safety against pneumonia. "associated with the virus. It was the result of a set of tests in vitro, first, and with a hundred patients from different areas of China later.

In the midst of a race against time, the researchers recommended including the drug in the treatment guidelines and possibly a step that will be taken in the coming days, completing the available pharmacological repertoire. However, the finding goes beyond its clinical utility in the short term. The discovery shows that the current approach makes sense and that, while dozens of laboratories around the world are searching for a vaccine against the virus, 'reusing' medications may be essential to mitigate the effects of the virus.

Obviously, these results are not an invitation to extend the "psychosis of the masks and the disinfecting gel" to all the formulations of the chloroquine available in the market. There are still several fundamental controls to validate it as a useful treatment against the epidemic and, this is important, its use without medical supervision can be dangerous. However, the study is good news and the truth is that we do not have too many on this topic.

Image | Tbel Abuseridze

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