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Man dies after ingesting chloroquine phosphate in an attempt to prevent coronavirus

NBC News logo NBC News 5 days ago Erika Edwards
Medical staff shows on February 26, 2020 at the IHU Mediterranee Infection Institute in Marseille, a packet of Nivaquine, tablets containing chloroquine, a commonly used malaria drug that has shown signs of effectiveness against coronavirus, according to a study conducted in several Chinese hospitals. - The Mediterranee infection Institute in Marseille based in La Timone Hospital is at the forefront of the prevention against coronavirus in France. (Photo by GERARD JULIEN / AFP) (Photo by GERARD JULIEN/AFP via Getty Images) Medical staff shows on February 26, 2020 at the IHU Mediterranee Infection Institute in Marseille, a packet of Nivaquine, tablets containing chloroquine, a commonly used malaria drug that has shown signs of effectiveness against coronavirus, according to a study conducted in several Chinese hospitals. - The Mediterranee infection Institute in Marseille based in La Timone Hospital is at the forefront of the prevention against coronavirus in France. (Photo by GERARD JULIEN / AFP) (Photo by GERARD JULIEN/AFP via Getty Images)

An Arizona man died after ingesting chloroquine phosphate in an attempt to protect himself from becoming infected with the coronavirus. The man's wife also ingested the drug, and is currently under critical care.

The drug chloroquine is used to treat malaria, and some early research suggests it may be useful in treating COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

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"Given the uncertainty around COVID-19, we understand that people are trying to find new ways to prevent or treat this virus, but self-medicating is not the way to do so," Dr. Daniel Brooks, medical director for Banner Poison and Drug Information Center, said in a statement.

A press release from Banner Health, based in Arizona, said the husband and wife, both in their 60s, took an additive called chloroquine phosphate used to clean fish tanks, to try to prevent coronavirus.

Within half an hour, both needed to seek emergency medical care. The man later died.

During a press conference last week, President Trump touted the drug for its potential, however the Food and Drug Administration later said it had not approved chloroquine for the coronavirus, and that much more study was needed.

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