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Getting Answers: Does Hydroxychloroquine help treat coronavirus, and should I try it?

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MADISON (WKOW) -- As health experts race to find treatments for coronavirus, two drugs have caught their attention: chloroquine and hyrdoxycholorquine. The drugs are used to treat malaria and other conditions.

New York began trials on the drugs Tuesday, acquiring 70,000 doses of hydroxychloroquine and 750,000 doses of chloroquine.

But health officials are urging caution -- saying chloroquine requires further clinical study.

Health experts say self-medicating with the drugs to prevent coronavirus isn't safe. UW Healths' chief quality officer added it could put other people who rely on the drugs at risk.

"What that has done is it has made it difficult to get a hold of hydroxychloroquine because individuals are interested in taking it to prevent or treat COVID-19," Dr. Jeff Pothoff said. "That does have the unintended effect of individuals who take that medication on a routine basis--usually for different rheumatological conditions--have a little more trouble getting it."

No drug has been approved to treat coronavirus. A vaccine is estimated to be at least a year away from approval.

Experts say self-quarantine remains the most effective way to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

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