Wilson, who was touring Australia, and her husband Tom Hanks, who was filming a Baz Luhrmann film about Elvis Presley, were both tested positive for Covid-19 on March 12 in Australia.
The drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are used to treat malaria, but their ability to treat Covid-19 is still disputed by experts, despite the fact that US President Donald Trump touts it as a “gamechanger”.
Wilson and Hanks were admitted to Gold Coast University Hospital in Queensland for treatment, where Wilson said she received chloroquine after developing a fever of 38.9 ° C.
“They gave me chloroquine,” she told American television station CBS. “I know people have talked about this drug. But I can only tell you that – I don’t know if the medicine worked or if it was just time for the fever to stop.
“My fever broke but chloroquine had extreme side effects, I was completely nauseous, I felt dizzy and my muscles felt very weak … I think people should be very careful with this medication. “
A spokeswoman for the Gold Coast University Hospital did not confirm whether Hanks and Wilson had received chloroquine, but said “selected patients” had received the drug.
“Gold Coast Health has used a variety of drugs in patients with more severe Covid-19,” said a spokesperson. “Chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir-ritonavir have been used in selected patients. “
Trump proclaimed the chemical effective in March, but the top US infectious disease adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, warned that there was not enough medical evidence to prove it was useful.
Australian researchers have also said it could cause life-threatening side effects, such as heart damage.
In March, a man in Arizona died after taking chloroquine phosphate – a chemical used to clean aquariums – after Trump’s advice. “Trump continued to say it was essentially a cure,” his wife told NBC.
Last week, the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee – the panel of experts on health emergencies – advised against the use of drugs in hospitals, contradicting the federal Department of Health.
The department told hospitals they could prescribe the drug “in a controlled environment for the treatment of critically ill patients in hospital” after the government lifted registration requirements for therapeutic products to speed up their importation into Australia.
Wilson and Hanks both recovered from the disease and said their blood was taken for a study to determine the level of antibodies they had developed.