Banner Health, a healthcare company that operates hospitals and clinics across the United States, has warned the public against DIY health treatment days after news of a potential COVID-19 treatment involving the antimalarial drug chloroquine began circulating,media SlashGear reported. According to the organization, the indiscriminate use of the drug has resulted in one person having died and the other in critical condition.
A study published earlier this month suggested that the antimalarial drug chloroquine, its derivative hydroxychloroquine, could be a potential treatment for COVID-19. However, the drug has not yet been tested as a treatment for infectious respiratory diseases, and it is not clear whether the dose required to treat the disease is safe.
However, many are scrambling to buy the drug, which is mainly on the market in the form of chlorpyrifos phosphate, a fish tank cleaner. Needless to say, the substance was not sold for human consumption, but that didn’t stop it from appearing on eBay and other online sites.
Banner Health is one of many places that have reported problems in people who take chloroquine phosphates to self-medicate COVID-19. A couple in their 60s took the drug and were taken to a hospital within half an hour, according to the company’s announcement Monday.
Sadly, the man has died and his wife is in critical condition. Dr Daniel Brooks, medical director of the Banner Health Information Center, said: “Given the uncertainty of COVID-19, we understand that people are trying to find new ways to prevent or treat the virus, but self-medication is not.
Brooks points out that, among other things, it would be a big problem if the emergency room were to be crowded with people trying to use unproven methods for self-treatment or prevent COVID-19. Most people infected with the virus only need to isolate themselves. In addition, Brooks said, Banner Health “strongly urges” doctors not to prescribe chloroquine to patients who are not hospitalized.