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Treating Zika Virus with the Antimalarial Chloroquine

When the Zika virus spread into the United States last year, the main concern was the potential damage it could cause to the fetus in pregnant women. While the virus results in mild symptoms for adults like headache and skin rashes, in pregnant women it can result in a child being born with microcephaly and other abnormalities. There is no known drug that can completely eliminate the virus, so treatment…
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rheumatoid arthritis

Antimalarials for Rheumatic Conditions

The drugs quinacrine, chloroquine, and hydroxychloroquine were all developed as antimalarials but found new applications in treating chronic conditions. The conditions that benefit most from these drugs are those that involve inflammatory processes such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. While the exact mechanism of action is not known, many rheumatologists prescribe these medications because of their proven success in relieving symptoms like pain and swelling and preventing the recurrence of…
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Treating Lupus with Antimalarial Drugs

Lupus is a disorder that causes the immune system to target the body’s own tissues and organs leading to inflammation. Several drugs that initially were used to prevent or treat malaria are now also used for treating lupus including quinacrine, chloroquine, and hydroxychlorquine. These drugs treat lupus symptoms by mildly suppressing the immune system, which reduces inflammation throughout the body. What is Lupus? While the exact cause of lupus is…
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