Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson Image Credit: AP

Rita Wilson doesn’t know if chloroquine helped her in her COVID-19 fight. She only knows how it made her feel on her road to recovery.

In short? Not good.

“I don’t know if the drug worked or if it was just time for the fever to break,” Wilson said, noting the “extreme side effects” she experienced.

Wilson, who came down with COVID-19 while in Australia with husband Tom Hanks, told ‘CBS This Morning’ that the medication left her “completely nauseous” and suffering from vertigo. She was given the drug about Day 9 of her illness, she said.

“I could not walk and my muscles felt very weak,” the newly minted ‘Hip Hop Hooray’ rapper continued. “I think people have to be very considerate about that drug. We don’t really know if it’s helpful in this case.”

Rita Wilson talks COVID-19 and the coronavirus on ‘CBS This Morning’.

By video, the actress-singer told CBS’ Gayle King that her fever had gone up to nearly 102 degrees, and she realised in hindsight that her senses of taste and smell had been on their way out. Wilson’s initial body aches ushered in a fever with chills like she’d “never had before.”

Hanks, meanwhile, had a less severe case than she did, but still took the same length of time to recover. They’re both back in Los Angeles, and Hanks hosted “Saturday Night Live” from home over the weekend.

The couple still aren’t sure where they picked up the bug, Wilson said. They had gone to Australia so Hanks could work on a movie.

Hanks and Wilson were told they were both exposed to the coronavirus at the same time, she said. “We don’t know when that could have been or where.” However, she added, nobody in their family or on their close work team has tested positive.

Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, which are typically used against malaria and lupus, have gotten a lot of hype in recent weeks after a review said it seemed they could limit replication of the coronavirus in laboratory dishes, and President Trump said he felt good about their effectiveness. “That’s all it is, just a feeling,” Trump said in mid-March.

However, dangerous side effects of the drugs can include an erratic heartbeat that can lead to sudden death among people who have a congenital cardiac condition or take common antidepressants, antipsychotics or certain antibiotics that lengthen the time it takes for the heart to recharge between beats.

The drugs can also lead to haemolytic anaemia among people with a common genetic condition that prompts red blood cells to break down faster than they can be made. That can lead to shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat and, in severe cases, kidney failure and death.