Daniel Dae Kim Says Antimalarial Drug Was His ‘Secret Weapon’ In Coronavirus Recovery

Daniel Dae Kim speaks onstage during the Hellboy panel during New York Comic Con at Jacob Javits Center on October 6, 2018 in New York City.
Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images

Not long after former Lost star Daniel Dae Kim revealed he had tested positive for COVID-19, the 51-year-old actor told his fans on Saturday that he was symptom-free and will soon be out of isolation.

As reported by Metro, Kim shared an update on Instagram and said that his doctor prescribed him the antibiotic azithromycin, the antiviral Tamiflu, a glycopyrrolate inhaler, and the antimalarial drug chloroquine in the form of hydroxychloroquine.

According to Kim, hydroxychloroquine was his “secret weapon” during his recovery, although he noted his lack of medical knowledge and urged his fans to listen to their physician. Kim also highlighted Dr. Anthony Fauci’s cautioning against the use of the drug before more research is conducted on its effectiveness against the coronavirus.

“[Fauci] said that evidence suggesting the drug was promising was anecdotal and that is correct,” Kim said. “It means it was studied, but only based on personal accounts.”

Kim was careful not to call the drug a cure for COVID-19 or push others to use it as he has, but he nevertheless noted the benefit it had for his own recovery process.

“I won’t say this is a cure and I won’t say definitively that you should go out and use it, but what I will say is that I believe it was crucial to my recovery.”

According to The Scientist, early research suggests that chloroquine could work to battle COVID-19. In one study from France published on March 20 in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, 26 patients with the novel coronavirus — also known as SARS-CoV-2 — received hydroxychloroquine and six of these patients also received the antibiotic azithromycin.

Of the 20 patients who completed the study, all six who took azithromycin in addition to the antimalarial drug were free of the deadly coronavirus by the fifth day after treatment. Of the 14 patients who only received hydroxychloroquine, seven tested negative for the virus at the same time. In the group of 16 control subjects, just two were no longer infected at this time.

Despite early successes, The Scientist notes that more extensive clinical trials are still needed to determine the drug’s effectiveness for fighting COVID-19. In addition, it will likely be used only in combination with other medications.

“Chloroquine alone will not solve the problem,” said Nabil Seidah, a molecular biologist at the Montreal Clinical Research Institute (IRCM) who studied the drug’s effects on SARS-CoV-1 back in 2005.

As The Inquisitr previously reported, President Donald Trump revealed last week that American officials are examining the effectiveness of chloroquine for fighting COVID-19. Although the president said the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would be quickly approving the drug for use against the virus, CNN reported that the agency promptly confirmed that was not the case as more studies needed to be conducted on its efficacy.