March 22 2020
There has been preliminary research from China suggesting that the anti-malaria and anti-inflammatory drug hydroxy-chloroquine (i.e. Plaquenil) may have value in the treatment of COVID-19. People are now stock pilling this drug. However what has been missed in the mainstream media, which has also been utilized in the management of COVID-19, is vitamin C given by intravenous injection. In fact it has been suggested from China that vitamin C should be used early on in treatment and that it appears to decrease hospital stay and support recovery. There is a medical protocol from China known as the “Shanghai Protocol” that details both the conventional (i.e. using drugs, ventilators, etc.) plus vitamin C intravenous in addition to Traditional Chinese Medicine in the management of COVID-19. The document is written in Chinese and is by the Shanghai Medical Association entitled “Expert consensus on comprehensive treatment of coronavirus disease in Shanghai 2019”. All combined this approach may also help to support the weakened body and immune system recover which may be an important missing piece. Does this help improve survival? Again this may also help decrease the load in the overloaded hospitals such as Italy and other potential regions of the world. Drugs have limits and especially when the body is tired and overloaded – an observation repeatedly seen in our cancer care practice throughout the years. I have not heard of other European, Canadian or US hospitals utilize this potential tool as of yet but rather only the drugs have been emphasized (besides ventilators, ECMO, etc.). I have observed that China is not polarized in this area but rather integrates whatever may help. In my experiences using vitamin C intravenous in cancer, the earlier integrated in care the better and I would assume the same would apply in COVID-19 treatment as in what has been suggested in China. And once again, vitamin C is a low cost and relatively low side-effect tool with a long history of use.