Purpose of Review: The rapid spread of virus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has turned out to be a global emergency. Symptoms of this viral infection, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), include mild infections of the upper respiratory tract, viral pneumonia, respiratory failure, multiple organ failure and death. Till date, no drugs have been discovered to treat COVID-19 patients, and therefore, a considerable amount of interest has been shown in repurposing the existing drugs. Recent Findings: Out of these drugs, chloroquine (CQ) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) have demonstrated positive results indicating a potential antiviral role against SARS-CoV-2. Its mechanism of action (MOA) includes the interference in the endocytic pathway, blockade of sialic acid receptors, restriction of pH mediated spike (S) protein cleavage at the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) binding site and prevention of cytokine storm. Unfortunately, its adverse effects like gastrointestinal complications, retinopathy and QT interval prolongation are evident in treated COVID-19 patients. Yet, multiple clinical trials have been employed in several countries to evaluate its ability in turning into a needed drug in this pandemic. Summary: This review attempts to summarize the MOA of CQ/HCQ and its side effects. The existing literature hints that till date, the role of CQ/HCQ in COVID-19 may be sceptical, and further studies are warranted for obtaining a therapeutic option that could be effectively used across the world to rise out from this pandemic.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Drug Discovery