An Arizona man has died and his wife is in critical condition after they both took chloroquine phosphate, which is an ingredient found in fish tank cleaner. The additive is also found in an anti-malaria medication which has been touted as a treatment for coronavirus despite a lack of study on it or approval by federal health agencies.
The couple, both in their 60s, required immediate hospital assistance within 30 minutes of ingesting the drug, which is normally used at aquariums to clean fish tanks, according to Banner Health, which is headquartered in Arizona.
“Given the uncertainty around COVID-19, we understand that people are trying to find new ways to prevent or treat this virus, but self-medicating is not the way to do so,” said Dr. Daniel Brooks, Banner Poison and Drug Information Center medical director. “The last thing that we want right now is to inundate our emergency departments with patients who believe they found a vague and risky solution that could potentially jeopardize their health.”