Putting to Rest False Hope on Hydroxychloroquine for Treatment of COVID-19
In the first place, what exactly are we looking for when considering a substance (medicine) for treatment of a specific health problem, in this case, a viral disease? We look for an active ingredient in the medicine that might kill the virus or disable the viral activities (e.g. viral proliferation), and in the case of hydroxychloroquine non has been reported. Secondly, we might need to consider the potential immunomodulatory effects of the therapeutic substance or drug, which facilitates fighting the virus and healing, Most importantly, we want to know the effect-inducing mechanism/mode of action of the substance (prescription drug, herb, nutritional supplement, etc.) being considered as the prophylactic or therapeutic agent
In the case of hydroxychloroquine, it is known to play an indirect role in COVID-19 treatment, i.e. by potentiating intracellular uptake of zinc (as a zinc ionophore), thus enabling it to directly inactivate the virus or enhance the immune system.. However, the question remains whether we would want to use hydroxychloroquine as the zinc ionophore and risk our health to the potential side effects mentioned above or we would rather opt for use of other known and well-researched safe, nontoxic zinc ionophore natural substances such as hinokitiol.