Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Poison Experts Warn Against Using Medications or Household Products to Prevent Coronavirus

The Texas Poison Center Network wants you and your family to stay safe from the current   
Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. There are many steps you can take to protect yourself and others such as washing your hands frequently, practicing social distancing, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.

While there is no vaccine against or cures for COVID-19, there are reports of products and medications that claim to “cure” or “protect” people from becoming ill circulating the internet; none of them approved for use and some of them potentially harmful.  Please remember that no medication or product should be used for COVID-19 without consulting your physician first. 

Some recent examples include individuals attempting to drink bleach to try and get rid of the coronavirus in their system.  This is of course not helpful and incredibly dangerous and should never be attempted.  Bleach is not intended for human consumption.   
Other examples include individuals taking the active ingredient in an anti-malarial drug to fight COVID-19. Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have been mentioned in many blogs and posts online as a possible “cure”.  They have even made it onto the President’s news conferences.  This came after a recent report that suggested these medications were being tested to treat COVID-19 in other countries.  There has been some improvement in critical patients taking these medications, but they are still in the early stages of testing.  We do know however that these ingredients are highly toxic and have caused many deaths due to ingestion.  There are reports of people who inadvertently have overdosed attempting to treat themselves with these products.   Texas Poison Centers want you to know that these medications and products can cause significant illness with permanent damage or death if taken in the incorrect dose or manner.

If you or someone you know has taken chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine, call the Poison Helpline at 1-800-222-1222 right away. If someone is experiencing seizures, difficulty breathing, turning blue or is unconscious, call 911 immediately.

If you are diagnosed with the COVID-19, please follow your doctor’s instructions and limit contact with others.  There is no specific cure or treatment.  If you are concerned about contracting coronavirus, now is the time to practice social distancing and only leave your home if absolutely necessary, such as for groceries or medications. For more information on COVID-19, please visit

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