A paper published in a virology journey in 2005 found that Chloroquine is effective against SARS coronavirus.
Chloroquine versus Coronavirus
"We report, however, that chloroquine has strong antiviral effects on SARS-CoV infection of primate cells." the paper stated in the results section.
"These inhibitory effects are observed when the cells are treated with the drug either before or after exposure to the virus, suggesting both prophylactic and therapeutic advantage" the researchers also noted.
The researchers were looking for a solution for the SARS outbreak that was first reported in Guangdong Province, China, in late 2002. Like COVID-19, this virus spread over multiple countries within months of its first detection. It was also considered a novel virus.
A Special Agent
Along with chloroquine, the researchers also tested their hypothesis with a different chemical, Ammonium chloride. They concluded that Ammonium chloride inhibits SARS-CoV infection as well.
"Since chloroquine inhibited SARS-CoV infection when added before or after infection, we hypothesized that another common lysosomotropic agent, NH4Cl, might also function in a similar manner." the study stated.
The study reported "in both cases, we observed a 93–99% inhibition with NH4Cl at ≥ 5 mM. These data indicated that NH4Cl (≥ 5 mM) and chloroquine (≥ 10 μM) are very effective in reducing SARS-CoV infection."
They identified chloroquine as an effective antiviral agent for SARS-CoV in cell culture conditions. They provided evidence of its inhibitory effect when the drug was added prior to infection and after the initiation of the infection.
"The fact that chloroquine exerts an antiviral effect during pre- and post-infection conditions suggest that it is likely to have both prophylactic and therapeutic advantages." they published.
They admit that the role chloroquine plays on the virus replication is not fully understood, they concluded that choloroquine, a cheap drug, is effective in inhibiting the infection and spread of SARS CoV in cell culture. However, its not recommended to eat fish tank cleaner with the same active ingredient. As noted in recent news, that could very well kill you.
Choloriquine is widely available in the Americas. In US and Canada, you may need a doctors presciption, but some countries, like Mexico, you can buy Chloroquine over the counter at pharmacies and even stores like Walmart without a presciption. It is always advisable to get a doctors opinion before dosing yourself with any medication made in a laboratory.
Source: Virology Journal & Study here