The FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine has recently become aware that some consumers may mistake chloroquine phosphate used to treat disease in aquarium fish for FDA-approved drugs (used to treat malaria and certain other conditions in humans) that are being studied as a COVID-19 treatment for humans.

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Unfortunately, we have learned that one person in the United States has died after he and his wife reportedly took chloroquine used to treat their fish in an attempt to prevent COVID-19; his wife also became very ill.

Chloroquine products sold for aquarium use have not been evaluated by the FDA to determine whether they are safe, effective, properly manufactured, and adequately labeled for use in fish–let alone humans. Products marketed for veterinary use, “for research only,” or otherwise not for human consumption have not been evaluated for safety in humans.

FDA recommends:

  • Do not take any form of chloroquine unless it has been prescribed by a licensed healthcare provider and is obtained through a legitimate source.
  • Consult with a licensed veterinarian, if you have concerns about the health of your animals.
  • Report any product that is claimed to prevent or cure COVID-19 to FDA-COVID-19-Fraudulent-[email protected] or 1-888-InfoFDA (1-888-463-6332).
  • Practice social distancing by sharing this information electronically.