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-   -   Man dies after ingesting chloroquine phosphate (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=892446)

Half Man Half Wit 03-24-2020 03:42 AM

Man dies after ingesting chloroquine phosphate
 
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna1167166

Reportedly, the wife mistook chloroquine phosphate, used to treat parasites in fish, for the anti-malarial chloroquine, 'the stuff they're talking about on TV'.

I'm really trying hard not to make this political. But, the irresponsible spreading of inconclusive information just killed a person.

RivkahChaya 03-24-2020 03:52 AM

Only one?

Darren Garrison 03-24-2020 04:15 AM

Killed a person 1: dumb enought to listen to Trump and 2: dumb enough to take a substance without being sure what it is or does.

Darren Garrison 03-24-2020 04:29 AM

Some googling shows that chloroquine phosphate is the antimalarial drug. So they must have taken a massive overdose, or else one of the other ingredients was toxic.

UDS 03-24-2020 04:35 AM

People do stupid things when they panic, and it's more likely that they will panic when they observe that at a time of crisis their country is led by someone who seems to have missed his true calling as the back end of a pantomime horse. So, yeah, this may be lethal stupidity on the part of the man concerned, but nevertheless the consequences are partly down to political leadership. Politicians need to take account of the fact that some of the people are lethally stupid, and govern in a way which minimises the harm resulting from that.

Half Man Half Wit 03-24-2020 04:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darren Garrison (Post 22207053)
Some googling shows that chloroquine phosphate is the antimalarial drug. So they must have taken a massive overdose, or else one of the other ingredients was toxic.

Thanks for the correction; I had understood the original article to imply that they're distinct.

And while I agree it's dumb to just take drugs without prescription, people in panic often aren't at their smartest, so feeding them questionable information is itself rather horrendous.

Melbourne 03-24-2020 05:10 AM

My sister, when young, took enough cloroquine to be sick, mistaking it for some kind of something for her period pain. Something she found in the medicine cabinet.

My mother was kind of blase about pain and sickness until my brother spent a couple of months in hospital for a late appendicitis diagnosis. She wouldn't have approved of the use of pills for period pain: her opinion was that if it didn't require morphine, it didn't require pain killers.

Harrington 03-24-2020 05:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darren Garrison (Post 22207053)
Some googling shows that chloroquine phosphate is the antimalarial drug. So they must have taken a massive overdose, or else one of the other ingredients was toxic.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Half Man Half Wit (Post 22207056)
Thanks for the correction; I had understood the original article to imply that they're distinct.

What the couple ingested and the drug the president was talking about are distinct. The pharmaceutical form, the one the president was talking about, is Hydroxychloroquine. What these people ingested was not the pharmaceutical form. If they had only taken one capsule of Hydroxychloroquine, they'd probably be fine. In the U.S., you can't get Hydroxychloroquine without a prescription.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/a...D-19-drug.html

If someone ingests chemicals intended to treat fish after listening to Trump, it's difficult for me to shed a tear.

I don't understand this article stating that Hydroxychloroquine is in short supply because it must be prescribed by a health care profession.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news...virus-n1166981

The only way it would be in high demand and pharmacies running out of supply is if patients are going to their providers and the providers are haphazardly prescribing the drug. If, like the following letter suggests, providers are prescribing Hydroxychloroquine at the whim of the patient, that is a little frightening.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/13tp...G561T8tS2/view

Ruken 03-24-2020 05:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Harrington (Post 22207093)
What the couple ingested and the drug the president was talking about are distinct. The pharmaceutical form, the one the president was talking about, is Hydroxychloroquine. What these people ingested was not the pharmaceutical form. If they had only taken one capsule of Hydroxychloroquine, they'd probably be fine. In the U.S., you can't get Hydroxychloroquine without a prescription.

They are not different forms; they are distinct chemicals, both available in formulations approved for humans. That this was a different formulation was likely not the problem.

Re: prescriptions, it's a prophylactic antimalarial. It's not like you need to be sick to get it.

Harrington 03-24-2020 07:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ruken (Post 22207116)
They are not different forms; they are distinct chemicals, both available in formulations approved for humans. That this was a different formulation was likely not the problem.

Trump was talking about Hydroxychloroquine, fit for human consumption and if they had taken a tablet or two of that, they would not have died. What the couple took was not fit for human consumption, clearly, regardless of form or formulation. When Darren Garrison wrote "Some googling shows that chloroquine phosphate is the antimalarial drug. So they must have taken a massive overdose, or else one of the other ingredients was toxic.," he's implying they took the drug available at pharmacies. That is not the case.

Quote:

Re: prescriptions, it's a prophylactic antimalarial. It's not like you need to be sick to get it.
But prescribing it en masse for Covid19 prophylaxis or treatment is leaving shortages for people who need it because they are sick. Fine if Hydroxychloroquine is effective at preventing or treating Covid19, but that has not yet been demonstrated. It is in trial phase.

RivkahChaya 03-24-2020 08:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Harrington (Post 22207093)
The only way it would be in high demand and pharmacies running out of supply is if patients are going to their providers and the providers are haphazardly prescribing the drug. If, like the following letter suggests, providers are prescribing Hydroxychloroquine at the whim of the patient, that is a little frightening.

This does happen. I have it from my cousins who are doctors-- one of whom is a GP. What also happens is that patients go to a doctor as a new patient and say they have been on X med for a long time, and need a refill. Can they get one? A lot of doctors will write the scrip before they get the patient's records if it is not something that is abused, or has any potential for getting people high, or being used to make something else that has street value.

Hydroxychloroquine probably now has a street value, so it is probably not being prescribed ANYMORE except for established patients who are already taking it regularly for chronic conditions.

But the initial prescriptions requested by patients did not necessarily raise flags for doctors.

Some of those patients may well have been people with conditions like Lupus, which is something it is prescribed for. They may not have been having many symptoms, but were worried that Lupus put them in a vulnerable class, so they wanted the medication on hand. They mentioned to their doctor that So-&-so in their support group was doing really well, and being helped a lot on the med. Could I try it?

Doctor prescribes one month of a low dose. But patient is only going to save it, then take it for a week, if he or she catches Covid-19, so multiply the low dose by 4.

eenerms 03-24-2020 08:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darren Garrison (Post 22207043)
Killed a person 1: dumb enought to listen to Trump and 2: dumb enough to take a substance without being sure what it is or does.

Again Trumps fault..

Darren Garrison 03-24-2020 08:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Harrington (Post 22207093)
What the couple ingested and the drug the president was talking about are distinct. The pharmaceutical form, the one the president was talking about, is Hydroxychloroquine.

Then these medical sites need to be updated.

RivkahChaya 03-24-2020 08:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by eenerms (Post 22207378)
Again Trumps fault..

+1

:smack:

aceplace57 03-24-2020 09:59 AM

You can't compare the dosage of a medical tablet and a fish tank tablet. This guy probably got a massive overdose.

It's really a cheap shot against the President. Hydroxychloroquine is being used in many countries to treat Coronavirus. It's effectiveness hasn't been clinically proven yet. But it's reasonably safe when administered by a physician.

Ann Hedonia 03-24-2020 10:21 AM

Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine phosphate are two different drugs. I have heard BOTH drugs discussed as components of various proposed Coronavirus treatments.

dropzone 03-24-2020 10:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Melbourne (Post 22207085)
. She wouldn't have approved of the use of pills for period pain: her opinion was that if it didn't require morphine, it didn't require pain killers.

You are obviously not a child of the Sixties so I'll help you. Mom says the pain needs to be worse, but if it's bad enough you get morphine. Do you shrug off the pain, or do you point at the red face with a big frown and tears, and start crying? Remember that you are a future wastrel and want drugs. And you hurt.

carnivorousplant 03-24-2020 10:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aceplace57 (Post 22207524)
You can't compare the dosage of a medical tablet and a fish tank tablet. This guy probably got a massive overdose.

The price of the aquarium medicine has increased.

It is stupid to use drugs made for aquarium use. Quality control for a fish is no where like quality control for humans.

pool 03-24-2020 10:55 AM

The guy took some random amount of drugs designed for fish and died?

"You can't fix stupid."

Skypist 03-24-2020 11:01 AM

I wonder why the fish version doesn’t kill fish? They’re much smaller than humans, if we’re talking about the typical goldfish. It makes me think they took too much of a veterinary formulation, but that’s just a totally uneducated guess.

They were dumb to do that, but perhaps they were also very desperate. Did they have or think they had COVID 19?

It wouldn’t have happened at all if trump had kept his trap shut.

Darren Garrison 03-24-2020 11:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pool (Post 22207636)
"You can't fix stupid."

I think he did.

Broomstick 03-24-2020 11:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skypist (Post 22207650)
I wonder why the fish version doesn’t kill fish?

Medicine for fish is typically liquid and you use just a drop or two for an entire tank. And you certainly can kill fish with it, if you overdo it.

Ashtura 03-24-2020 11:26 AM

The president isn't the only one talking about chloroquine. NO ONE has said it's appropriate to self dose on fish tank cleaner, or to take the actual medicine without medical supervision. These people were dumb, end of story. I'm sorry their idiocy lead to their deaths, but that's where it ends.

eenerms 03-24-2020 11:42 AM

I just heard a news conference with Andrew Cuomo, he stated the FDA released dosages of that drug plus two more for clinical trials in NY State.

Tigers2B1 03-24-2020 12:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by eenerms (Post 22207771)
I just heard a news conference with Andrew Cuomo, he stated the FDA released dosages of that drug plus two more for clinical trials in NY State.

Didn't catch the news conference - did Cuomo think to warn people not to drink aquarium cleaner?

SmartAleq 03-24-2020 12:57 PM

I don't think many of you understand the role of fish antibiotics in the population without access to health insurance and regular health care. I went for fifteen years without health insurance and treated myself with fish ampicillin for tooth problems more than once. I also grew Papaver somniferum to assist with chronic back pain. When you simply Do. Not. Have. several hundred dollars to pay the medical gatekeeper for a legitimate scrip for antibiotics, fish medication is a workaround that probably thousands of people are using every day.

This is why we need single payer healthcare that covers EVERYONE so that people with incomplete understanding of the medical profession aren't tempted to try something dangerous out of desperation and fear.

carnivorousplant 03-24-2020 02:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SmartAleq (Post 22207944)
This is why we need single payer healthcare that covers EVERYONE so that people with incomplete understanding of the medical profession aren't tempted to try something dangerous out of desperation and fear.

I agree, although practically I would say, "For anyone who wants it" to prevent annoying voters. I can't help but worry about using aquarium medicines, although you seem to have no choice. Are you sure that have no additives?

SmartAleq 03-24-2020 03:25 PM

I have healthcare insurance and access now, thank goodness, and had it before I got the pulmonary embolism that could have killed me off. I stay on warfarin though, in preference to other blood thinners because the cost is low and monthly monitoring affordable in case that should change in future. I didn't have any assurances about the level of quality control inherent in using fish antibiotics, but figured that with ampicillin it's probably cheap enough overall that it wouldn't tempt manufacturers to dilute or adulterate the medication. I'd also taken it for humans often enough to know the effective dosage. I had enough medical knowledge and background to safeguard myself as far as possible while taking the admittedly dodgy step of resorting to fish antibiotics and I lucked out--others, I'm sure, have not been as safe or lucky.

And voters be fucking damned--single payer for all and if your stiff neck doesn't allow you to use it, more power to you but you'll still pay your fair share toward that inevitable day when you WILL need it. There's not one person living who has never and never will need access to healthcare and anyone who says differently is either too stupid or too crazy to pay any attention to whatsoever. If someone with with alternatives insists on taking fish medications, well, at least when it goes badly for them they won't go bankrupt after the ambulance takes them to the emergency room to fix what their folly broke.

steronz 03-24-2020 03:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ashtura (Post 22207716)
The president isn't the only one talking about chloroquine. NO ONE has said it's appropriate to self dose on fish tank cleaner, or to take the actual medicine without medical supervision. These people were dumb, end of story. I'm sorry their idiocy lead to their deaths, but that's where it ends.

I agree, of course. But the woman was interviewed and SHE blames Trump, for what it's worth. It's pretty clear where they got the idea, and who they listened to.

RivkahChaya 03-24-2020 04:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SmartAleq (Post 22207944)
I don't think many of you understand the role of fish antibiotics in the population without access to health insurance and regular health care. I went for fifteen years without health insurance and treated myself with fish ampicillin for tooth problems more than once.

I keep fish. I do not shop Petsmart/Petco/Walmart/what-have-you for my fish, and fish supplies. I go to a specialty store. In addition to a wide variety of fish that are way healthier than the ones anywhere else in town, they have any medication of chemical you could ever possibly need.

One of the guys who works there told me that truck drivers go to them for antibiotics a lot, any time they have a nasty gash, deep cut, or sinus infection that just won't go away.

See, they don't have the ability to be established with medical practices all across I-70, the ability to go home any time they are sick or hurt, nor the time to wait hours in clinics for treatment. Plus, clinics usually charge more than practices.

Mangetout 03-24-2020 04:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pool (Post 22207636)
The guy took some random amount of drugs designed for fish and died?

"You can't fix stupid."

I mean, it's a partial success - his intent was to prevent himself catching coronavirus - and it is an undeniable fact that he can't catch it now.

Ruken 03-24-2020 04:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Harrington (Post 22207272)
Trump was talking about Hydroxychloroquine, fit for human consumption and if they had taken a tablet or two of that, they would not have died. What the couple took was not fit for human consumption, clearly, regardless of form or formulation. When Darren Garrison wrote "Some googling shows that chloroquine phosphate is the antimalarial drug. So they must have taken a massive overdose, or else one of the other ingredients was toxic.," he's implying they took the drug available at pharmacies. That is not the case.

That is the case; the drug available for aquariums is the drug available at pharmacies. It also happens to be a drug with a small therapeutic index. What the couple took was not produced under the same controls that would certify it for human consumption; however, that is likely irrelevant.

"Safe for human consumption" does not mean "safe for everyone at any dose." Take too much hydroxyquinoline and you'll die too.

scr4 03-24-2020 05:11 PM

It says here the standard initial dose for an adult is 1 gram. That's a fairly big amount - even if it was pure powder, that would be on the order of 1/4 teaspoon, wouldn't it? I wonder how much they ingested??

RivkahChaya 03-24-2020 05:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ruken (Post 22208402)
That is the case; the drug available for aquariums is the drug available at pharmacies. It also happens to be a drug with a small therapeutic index. What the couple took was not produced under the same controls that would certify it for human consumption; however, that is likely irrelevant.

"Safe for human consumption" does not mean "safe for everyone at any dose." Take too much hydroxyquinoline and you'll die too.

Hell, too much water can kill you, and that's not a joke about drowning. You can die from drinking too much water.

Actually, I think you can even overdose on pure oxygen. It can cause lots of problems: it caused blindness in many, many premature babies, before people figured out it was going on-- and then invented artificial surfectant.

Ruken 03-24-2020 05:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by scr4 (Post 22208440)
It says here the standard initial dose for an adult is 1 gram. That's a fairly big amount - even if it was pure powder, that would be on the order of 1/4 teaspoon, wouldn't it? I wonder how much they ingested??

OP's link just mentions a "small amount". I'm used to weighing a mg or two, so that probably means something different to me than to most folks. Is a scoop of metamucil "small"?

I don't know what the density is. But yeah a quarter teaspoon seems reasonable if it isn't fluffy.

carnivorousplant 03-24-2020 05:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mangetout (Post 22208372)
I mean, it's a partial success - his intent was to prevent himself catching coronavirus - and it is an undeniable fact that he can't catch it now.

Well, there you go.

Darren Garrison 03-24-2020 06:34 PM

This reminds me of the guy who bought pure caffeine, basically ate it like it was rock candy, and died. His parents went on a huge campaign against the caffeine industry instead of accepting that their son was an irresponsible idiot.
You can blame Trump for this all you want, but at some point the emptor has to caveat.

Melbourne 03-25-2020 05:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by scr4 (Post 22208440)
It says here the standard initial dose for an adult is 1 gram. That's a fairly big amount - even if it was pure powder, that would be on the order of 1/4 teaspoon, wouldn't it?

That's a loading dose, for an adult. After that it's only a fraction of that, once a week. For us, It was one pill, once a week. You want large, take a look at worming tables! But quinine is a strong flavor. We were emotionally scared for decades afterwards.

wolfpup 03-25-2020 06:27 PM

The husband died and the woman is in critical condition. Apparently several deaths have been reported in Nigeria from chloroquine overdose.

I just realized that quinine and chloroquine are chemically very similar. Quinine is found in the tonic water that many of us enjoy with a nice gin and tonic on a warm summer day, but presumably in very small quantities and safe for human consumption. It's what gives tonic water its slightly bitter taste. Just a random factoid -- unrelated to the incredible stupidity of consuming fish-tank additive as medication. :mad:

WildaBeast 03-25-2020 07:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wolfpup (Post 22210778)
I just realized that quinine and chloroquine are chemically very similar. Quinine is found in the tonic water that many of us enjoy with a nice gin and tonic on a warm summer day, but presumably in very small quantities and safe for human consumption. It's what gives tonic water its slightly bitter taste. Just a random factoid -- unrelated to the incredible stupidity of consuming fish-tank additive as medication. :mad:

I never thought about it until now, but that totally makes sense. To add another random factoid, the origin of tonic water was as an anti-malarial drug. It was given to British sailors, and as I understand it the quinine content was much higher in those days, since that was the active ingredient. That gave it a much stronger bitter flavor. So they added gin and lime juice (also part of a British sailor's rations) to make it more palatable.

mozchron 03-25-2020 08:35 PM

Hydroxychloroquine (sulfate) and Chloroquine (diphosphate) are both antimalarial drugs, very similar (hydroxychloroquine is a derivative of chloroquine). Both are reasonably safe drugs at the recommended dosages. They are NOT benign however, both have significant side effects, particularly for those who are allergic or who possess a particular genetic mutation. Neither should be taken casually. Overdose is possible if you don't know what you're doing and it's a nasty way to go. If you don't kill yourself, permanent eye damage is another possibility.

The symptoms of the folk who got sick and died taking fish meds sound like classic chloroquine overdose to me. They probably took the whole bottle.

There is anecdotal evidence that both hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine may have some efficacy against COVID19. There are no results yet from large trials that would actually tell us if there in a benefit. There are results from several small trials and these results are mixed; some say it helps, some say no benefit. So the jury is still out.

I have both of these chemicals in my lab and we use them in our experiments all the time. Would I take them if I was sick? Based on what i've seen no I would not, unless I was dying anyway and the hospitals were shut down. Then, what the hell - nothing to lose. At least I have a decent microscale and know the proper dosage so i'm unlikely to kill myself with an overdose. But it wouldn't be my first choice to treat myself.

carnivorousplant 03-25-2020 08:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WildaBeast (Post 22210939)
I never thought about it until now, but that totally makes sense. To add another random factoid, the origin of tonic water was as an anti-malarial drug. It was given to British sailors, and as I understand it the quinine content was much higher in those days, since that was the active ingredient. That gave it a much stronger bitter flavor. So they added gin and lime juice (also part of a British sailor's rations) to make it more palatable.

I thought British sailors received rum in their rations.

Does anyone know the brand name of the fish medication that was taken?
I have aquariums and I'm curious. I wouldn't take any of that stuff.

nearwildheaven 03-25-2020 08:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WildaBeast (Post 22210939)
I never thought about it until now, but that totally makes sense. To add another random factoid, the origin of tonic water was as an anti-malarial drug. It was given to British sailors, and as I understand it the quinine content was much higher in those days, since that was the active ingredient. That gave it a much stronger bitter flavor. So they added gin and lime juice (also part of a British sailor's rations) to make it more palatable.

Quinine used to be available OTC as a treatment for nighttime leg cramps. Some people still drink tonic water for this purpose.

Harrington 03-25-2020 09:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by carnivorousplant (Post 22211007)
Does anyone know the brand name of the fish medication that was taken? I have aquariums and I'm curious. I wouldn't take any of that stuff.

https://www.tokopedia.com/reefcool/c...bat-white-spot

I don't know if this was the brand that was ingested by the couple, but it is a brand.

Green Bean 03-26-2020 11:45 AM

Hell, even if you take the human-grade one, you’re still taking the risk of side effects. This is true of any drug, but this hits home because my otherwise healthy 77 year old aunt is currently sick due to side effects - from antimalarials!

She took doctor-prescribed antimalarials prior to a recent trip to Africa (not sure if it was this particular one). After she got back, she started feeling ill and it turned out that she was experiencing a very rare side effect which completely messed with her liver. Fortunately she is expected to make a full recovery, but in the meantime she’s stuck going for weekly blood testing. She’s absurdly healthy and fit for her age, but she’s still in a very high-risk category due to her age and in a weakened state due to the illness, and has to go to the place where the sick people are. This is all an unfortunate case of bad timing and the fact that she just got unlucky with the rare side effect, but sheesh!

And this was all from a totally common drug that doesn’t usually cause problems. Taking fish drops...well, Darwin is having a laugh at those morons.

nearwildheaven 03-26-2020 12:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darren Garrison (Post 22208630)
This reminds me of the guy who bought pure caffeine, basically ate it like it was rock candy, and died. His parents went on a huge campaign against the caffeine industry instead of accepting that their son was an irresponsible idiot.
You can blame Trump for this all you want, but at some point the emptor has to caveat.

There's a family in my area whose son died 3 weeks after getting the still-controversial HPV vaccine. No, he didn't die from a rare neurological disorder which was probably precipitated by severe dehydration resulting from two-a-day summertime football practice; he died from that vaccine. :smack: While I feel terrible for them, having lost a child, I personally think that their one-family campaign to get it banned is misguided.

Tom Tildrum 03-26-2020 04:19 PM

I'm sure they will have investigated the circumstances, but it crossed my mind to wonder whether the wife deliberately poisoned her husband and then took some herself as a cover story.

carnivorousplant 03-26-2020 05:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Harrington (Post 22211093)
https://www.tokopedia.com/reefcool/c...bat-white-spot

I don't know if this was the brand that was ingested by the couple, but it is a brand.

Thanks.

carnivorousplant 03-26-2020 05:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom Tildrum (Post 22212687)
I'm sure they will have investigated the circumstances, but it crossed my mind to wonder whether the wife deliberately poisoned her husband and then took some herself as a cover story.

I like the way you think!

Several years ago, a woman got off killing her husband. She was holding a cast iron frying pan, and he goosed her. She dropped the pan oh his head. In reality, I think she said, "Honey, scratch my butt..." WHAM!

Malcontent 03-26-2020 08:50 PM

Finally, an intelligent discussion on the subject.

The media as well as idiots on Twitter are saying it was an ingredient in "fish tank cleaner" or even "fish tank solvent." I've blocked more people on Twitter in the last two days than the last two years.

Twenty years of fish keeping and I've never used chemical cleaners let alone one with chloroquine in it.

I suspect their goal was a sensational headline by trying to equate "fish tank cleaner" with brake, drain, or toilet cleaner.

Or they were too lazy to spend 30 seconds on Google to learn what it's actually used for.


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