Plaquenil and other treatments for COVID 19
Bottom line? It is an excellent idea!
Although the studies have been small, they were well done and the treatment is very safe and effective. And costs ~$10/person
Why the debate on it? Academic medicine defines “proven” as having repeated large placebo-controlled studies that normally take years to run. For new treatments that have high risk and cost, and other alternative treatment options, this is reasonable.
But being trapped by that old mindset here runs the known risk of millions of deaths. Our current situation requires a more reasoned approach.
Instead, as we already have two well done studies, it is reasonable to begin with what we know:
- Taking the Plaquenil for six days resulted in only 25 percent of the treatment group still being contagious by day six, versus 100 percent of the untreated group.
- The treated group had milder illness.
So the potential and likely benefit is very very high. The next two things to look at are cost and risk:
- Cost- Under $10/person versus as much as $1000+ for other much less proven and more toxic treatments.
- Safety- used for decades in millions of people. Main (uncommon, transient and benign) side effects are nausea, headache, or itching. This medication is VERY safe. The risks of eye and heart problems are only in those using it for over five years. They simply are NOT seen with these shorter courses.
Running this equation shows that it is both good science and common sense to use this medication. Now!
The problem—media misinformation—even from usually reliable sources. I like Dr. Fauci. But I strongly disagree with him here. To say this treatment is “unproven” is misleading. He is using the regulatory definition of “unproven” and not using the scientific combined with common sense approach needed for this situation.
The other problem? Pharmacies are sold out. We need to focus on increased production (easy and low cost) and getting it to the public. Health care workers should be on the medication now, and stay on it till the pandemic passes.
Each person over 20 years of age should have the medication, taking two 200 mg tabs twice a day the first day, then one twice a day for five days. I begin it at first sign of infection. It is best absorbed if taken with food. The medicine then stays in the body, offering protection, for months.
As a physician, this is my perspective on what a substantial body of effectiveness and safety research is showing. Of course, this decision is between you and your physician.
Also important? Optimizing your immune function with Zinc 15–50 mg a day for one to two months. Then 15 mg a day. Also get vitamin C 500 mg a day, and 1000+ units daily of vitamin D*. The zinc is especially crucial.
Hoping this is helpful, as we all weather this storm together.
TotalHealth Note: It is very important to have your vitamin D levels tested in order to establish a health protective level of vitamin D. We are providing you with links to the research performed by or analyzed by GrassrootsHealth. GrassrootsHealth is a nonprofit public health research organization dedicated to moving public health messages regarding vitamin D from research into practice. It has a panel of 48 senior vitamin D researchers from around the world contributing to its operations. GrassrootsHealth is currently running the D*action field trial to solve the vitamin D deficiency epidemic worldwide. Under the D*action umbrella, there are also targeted programs for breast cancer prevention and a ‘Protect Our Children NOW!’ program to stop vitamin D deficiency where it starts, in utero.
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Jacob E Teitelbaum, MD
Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, is a board certified internist and Medical Director of the national Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers and Chronicity. He is author of the popular free iPhone application "Cures A-Z," and author of the best-selling books
- The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution: The Essential Guide to Overcoming Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia
- From Fatigued to Fantastic!
- Pain Free 1-2-3
- Three Steps to Happiness: Healing Through Joy
- The Complete Guide to Beating Sugar Addiction
- Beat Sugar Addiction Now! Cookbook
- Real Cause, Real Cure: The 9 root causes of the most common health problems and how to solve them
Dr. Teitelbaum knows CFS/fibromyalgia as an insider — he contracted CFS when he was in medical school and had to drop out for a year to recover. In the ensuing 25 years, he has dedicated his career to finding effective treatments.