Today, in New York, medical teams began using HCQ (hydroxychloroquine), an anti-malaria drug in combination with AZ (Azithromycin, an antibiotic commonly sold as the “Z-pack”) for treatment of COVID-19. They have been given 750K doses of CQ, 70K doses of HCQ and 10K doses of AZ to use immediately on a clinical trial basis.
Caution: Don’t try this at home (you’ll read why below) – this is a drug that can be toxic in small amounts if its not properly dosed – this drug should only ever be used under a physician’s care. Turns out the effective dose is even less than is used to safely treat malaria – and we already have a lot of reliable data about safety with that protocol (since 1955).
To my knowledge, this combination protocol has been successful in hundreds of COVID-19 patients and in multiple environments, multiple dosing amounts, and multiple combinations. It has been tested on patients and studied in China, South Korea, India, and France. It has already been recommended as a firstline treatment in hospitals in India and Belgium. And now it will be tested on a real live basis on COVID-19 patients in New York starting today. I have not heard of it being unsuccessful in any patient treatment to date. Let’s just say if HCQ/AZ was a sports team – it would be undefeated at this stage – but it still hasn’t won the Super Bowl just yet. We’ll find out this after this week of use in New York if it’s a true winner. I think most people would agree that the New York trial (among at least five others ongoing) would be enough to see definitive results in large practice.
On February 17th, 2020, a Chinese research group announced it had successfully used CQ (chloroquine) an older version first used in the 1930’s along with zinc and had achieved great results. HCQ, approved in 1955 for use in the US, is a safer version of CQ and commonly prescribed under the brand name Plaquenil, which is sometimes used to treat RA and Lupus. At that time the Chinese were already clinically testing the combination therapy in 10 hospitals. The study by Qingdao University was published February 29th, 2020 and announced as a “breakthrough” treatment.
Last week, a French study was released showing that all 20 patients with COVID-19 had recovered using HCQ. Of these, six patients that were administered a combination protocol of HCQ and AZ had 100% recovery in six days compared to 95% of the control group given placebo that had not recovered.
Yesterday (3/23/20) Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, a New York physician wrote a letter reporting the results of his treatment using the protocol below of 350 patients suspected of having COVID-19 and reported zero hospitalizations, zero intubations and zero deaths.
Here is his protocol:
“My name is Dr. Zev Zelenko and I practice medicine in Monroe, NY.
My out-patient treatment regimen is as follows:
- Hydroxychloroquine 200mg twice a day for 5 days
- Azithromycin 500mg once a day for 5 days
- Zinc sulfate 220mg once a day for 5 days
Since last Thursday, my team has treated approximately 350 patients in Kiryas Joel and another 150 patients in other areas of New York with the above regimen.
Of this group and the information provided to me by affiliated medical teams, we have had ZERO deaths, ZERO hospitalizations, and ZERO intubations. In addition, I have not heard of any negative side effects other than approximately 10% of patients with temporary nausea and diarrhea.
The rationale for my treatment plan is as follows. I combined the data available from China and South Korea with the recent study published from France (sites available on request). We know that hydroxychloroquine helps Zinc enter the cell. We know that Zinc slows viral replication within the cell. Regarding the use of azithromycin, I postulate it prevents secondary bacterial infections. These three drugs are well known and usually well tolerated, hence the risk to the patient is low.
Based on my direct experience, it prevents acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), prevents the need for hospitalization and saves lives.”
Another doctor, Dr. Ban Truong, DO, PhD, a quadruple board certified physician and nutrition specialist has used an HCQ protocol to successfully treat 15 of his patients with COVID-19 in Sacramento, California. Here is his You Tube video.
Separately, a New Jersey man declared his continued recovery from a critical condition of COVID-19 which placed him in the ICU by taking HCQ for four days.
“If you were to look at me today, I am 100 times better than I -was yesterday,” Ammararito said in a telephone interview Friday evening from his bed in an isolated room at Jersey City Medical Center. “I am feeling fine.”
Actor Daniel Dae Kim (“Lost”, “Hawaii Five-O”) has also publicly declared his remission by using HCQ.
CQ and HCQ are thought to work by increasing the amount of zinc which can be pushed into the cells. Zinc is already well known to stop replication of viruses. HCQ/CQ also affects the ACE2 receptor which the virus binds to in the lungs. The antibiotic AZ is believed to help reduce bacteria which help to carry and protect the virus and allow it to spread within the body.
Predictably, the media and some members of the COVID-19 Task Force have been reluctant to embrace the HCQ protocol. In fact, they have criticized President Trump for offering the false hope of the HCQ combination protocol without evidence.
Dr. Fauci, the director of the NIAID (a division of the NIH) called it “unreliable anecdotal evidence”. He said it was “HIS job to prove if it worked”. Dr. Peter Hotez, a prominent vaccine proponent, called it promising, but held out greater hope for an antibody treatment to be revealed in the coming weeks.
Dr. Fauci has stated that it will require clinical trials before HCQ can be prescribed as a treatment and declared as such by the federal government. This is not exactly correct. It can and has already been used “off-label” by doctors since it is an already approved drug for other conditions besides Malaria. There are currently six clinical trials in progress to study the drug’s efficacy.
Recent media reported sensationally that an Arizona couple mistakenly took fish tank cleaner which contained an unknown amount of Chloroquine phosphate. Unfortunately, and sadly, he has died and his wife is in ICU. This report has been used in an attempt to discredit the HCQ combination protocol. It will scare people about the drug but hopefully others will not make this same mistake and will not attempt to use it without a doctor.
CQ and HCQ do have safety issues if used incorrectly. They are prescription medications. CQ has over 70 years of use in practice and Plaquenil has been on the market since the 1980’s so we have a great amount of patient experience with these drugs. A single dose of two grams is considered to be toxic and potentially fatal and for a child even one gram can be fatal. Two grams is much more than what has been used successfully in the COVID-19 patients. Initial results of treatment of this drug has been shown safe and effective in five days so far and have been used for up to 10 days safely for most people.
I have checked out the dosing recommendations for treatment of malaria with HCQ and the amount used in Dr. Zelenko’s protocol and its just about the same – its even less. For Malaria its 1.5 grams on day one and 500 mg for the next two days (or 2.5g total) compared to 400 mg for five days (or 2.0g total) for COVID-19. So a single dose at one time of the entire amount needed could be fatal – and that’s why it should only ever be used under physician care.
If someone did overdose on HCQ – they should immediately do the following:
Treatment: Treatment is symptomatic and must be prompt with immediate evacuation of the stomach by emesis or gastric lavage followed by treatment with activated charcoal. Chloroquine overdose is a life-threatening emergency and should be managed with cardio-respiratory and hemodynamic support, monitoring of potassium along with management of arrhythmias and convulsions, as necessary. A patient who survives the acute phase and is asymptomatic should be closely observed until all clinical features of toxicity resolve.
There are people who are sensitive to the use of this drug and it should not be used long term or as a preventative as it can have severe side effects and damage vision, etc.
Quinine can also be found in tonic water in a diluted form. It may actually have some preventative benefits against the virus if taken responsibly with supplemental zinc. I know it’s tempting but PLEASE don’t chug the tonic water! Just relax and add some vodka if you really need to.
The benefits of CQ and HCQ have been known a long time. It is a relatively low cost treatment as patents have long expired and generics are plentiful. Therefore, it is not exciting to pharmaceutical companies racing to develop expensive vaccines and other medications to see this low cost off-the-shelf solution appear suddenly.
A US CDC 2005 study showed that CQ was effective in vitro (cell culture) against infection and spread of SARS, which is very similar to the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus and therefore should be further studied. Dr. Fauci is the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. You would think he would know of a study conducted by the CDC in 2005 on just this type of global pandemic he’s always been so concerned about.
A 2007 study specifically mentioned the likelihood of a more deadly SARS coronavirus emerging after jumping from cave bats to humans due to the unclean practices of Chinese open air markets and the eating of cave bats. They actually wrote and warned about exactly what (we think) happened – 13 years ago!
A 2011 study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that a combination of CQ and AZ was safe as a treatment for malaria for pregnant mothers at any stage.
TEVA, an Israeli pharmaceutical company, has donated 6 million doses of HCQ that will arrive in the US by March 31st and will be donating an additional 10 MM doses within one month. Based on the treatment protocols listed above, that amount is enough to treat all the currently known cases in the world by at least a factor of four times.
Dr. Fauci, Dr. Hotez and others should be mindful that we are not waiting on them for the expensive COVID-19 vaccine or pharmaceutical cures which will take too much time. Vaccines are not generally thought to be effective against an RNA-virus such as SARS-CoV-2 due to the high mutation rate of these viruses.
The last case of SARS-CoV was reported in 2004 – it was not wiped out by a vaccine but by natural herd immunity that we humans developed. I suspect this virus will go the same route but more slowly – our immune systems will adapt and less powerful mutations will emerge. I believe the HCQ is really going help us flatten the curve down to a flat line soon – and save a lot of lives.
So what explains the lack of research on HCQ to prevent future SARS-like global pandemics? How much money has been spent by the WHO, CDC, and other agencies towards this end? How much money was spent on SARS or H1N1 Bird Flu vaccine development and vaccines that were never used or needed? How much money is being spent now on a vaccine for COVID-19? Follow the money…
There are some very good reasons why a vaccine would not be a good idea to try to prevent COVID-19 – and could potentially be catastrophic. I will address that in a future article.
This global pandemic and response is a real wake-up call and lesson in how human ingenuity and necessity can be activated in a time of emergency. And that the bureaucracy and the medical establishment sometimes need to be bypassed to find real solutions.
How many more solutions to critical health care challenges are out there just waiting to be developed?