A systematic review on use of aminoquinolines for the therapeutic management of COVID-19: Efficacy, safety and clinical trials

Life Sci. 2020 Aug 1;254:117775. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2020.117775. Epub 2020 May 11.


Recent global outbreak of the pandemic caused by coronavirus (COVID-19) emphasizes the urgent need for novel antiviral therapeutics. It can be supplemented by utilization of efficient and validated drug discovery approaches such as drug repurposing/repositioning. The well reported and clinically used anti-malarial aminoquinoline drugs (chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine) have shown potential to be repurposed to control the present pandemic by inhibition of COVID-19. The review elaborates the mechanism of action, safety (side effects, adverse effects, toxicity) and details of clinical trials for chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to benefit the clinicians, medicinal chemist, pharmacologist actively involved in controlling the pandemic and to provide therapeutics for the treatment of COVID-19 infection.

Keywords: Aminoquinolines; Anti-viral mechanism; COVID-19; Chloroquine; Hydroxychloroquine; Safety.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aminoquinolines / adverse effects*
  • Aminoquinolines / therapeutic use*
  • Antiviral Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Betacoronavirus / drug effects
  • COVID-19
  • Chloroquine / adverse effects
  • Chloroquine / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Coronavirus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Drug Repositioning
  • Humans
  • Hydroxychloroquine / adverse effects
  • Hydroxychloroquine / therapeutic use
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / drug therapy*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Aminoquinolines
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Hydroxychloroquine
  • Chloroquine