According to Japanese flu drug reportedly shows promise against coronavirus in clinical trials

A Japanese drug used to treat new strains of the flu has shown promise in being effective against the coronavirus in clinical trials.

Infected patients who were given the drug in Wuhan and Shenzhen tested negative for the coronavirus after a median of four days, compared with a median of 11 days for those who were not treated with the drug

In my country, 15,000 persons have to return from the hot spot areas for Coronavirus of Spain and Italy. A few days ago, a sport team traveled to the hot spot of Milan, and 1/3 returned infected but without Symptoms. People who arrives to my country from other countries are inmediately quarantine, but several times they violate the quarantine presenting a risk for other people.

Could a drug used to treat patients of a infectious disease, be used preventively in possible asymptomatic patients?


1 Answer 1


There is no published data whether Hydroxychloroquine or anti-viral drugs can be used to prevent infection in an immune naive population.

We await clinical trials but the best hope usually has always been vaccination.

Trials have now started with healthcare workers who are exposed to covid-19 patients to take either prophylactic placebo or Hydroxychloroquine to see if it harms, or helps.

  • could it have negative consequences doing so?
    – Pablo
    Mar 19, 2020 at 10:44
  • @Pablo, negative consequences of using an ineffective medicine? Yes -- in addition to ordinary side effects, there's the risk of disease-specific problems. For example, corticosteroids suppress the part of the immune system that provides the initial response to COVID-19 infection.
    – Mark
    Mar 19, 2020 at 20:38
  • @Pablo, study results are starting to come in for Hydroxychloroquine, and it's not looking promising: if you've got a mild case of Covid-19, it may reduce the chances of progressing to a severe case, but if you've got a severe case, it greatly increases your odds of dying, possibly as much as doubling them. Given that, prophylactic use of HCQ is probably not an option.
    – Mark
    Apr 26, 2020 at 5:43

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