A friend read my post yesterday about the new COVID pills (1), which I led off by writing that we have safe and effective pills for COVID already, and she commented “please explain”.  I sent her a link to my ivermectin post of 2 months back (2), but then realized I’d only covered half the bases.  What about Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine: HCQ)?  I wrote a lot about HCQ in the early days of the pandemic, pleased to see that a trusted old friend was getting out there and helping others.  HCQ was a very helpful medication for a lot of the patients I treated as a rheumatologist, particularly those with rheumatoid arthritis and/or lupus.  It’s so important for the latter, once a patient’s on it they should never come off.  It’s been shown definitively that when they do, they tend to slip out of remission (3).

HCQ never got to save nearly as many of the COVID infected – from getting infected in the first place, worse disease, hospitalization, ICUs, or even death – as it could have had it been used freely.  Instead, in one of the bigger of many tragedies of how the mainstream handled COVID, use of HCQ was politicized, even demonized, as in some states it even became illegal to prescribe or dispense the drug for COVID, and more widely those who did risked censure or even loss of license.  Or is this just my fantasy – admittedly shared by many others – that HCQ was a panacea wrongfully denied to patients it might have helped?  My dive into PubMed found that the number of papers about HCQ in COVID is falling off, and their messages are a drumbeat of negativity.  Not only does HCQ not work, it can be dangerous, especially to the heart.  Of the hundreds and hundreds of patients I treated with HCQ over 35 years, only one had any heart trouble, and she had been taking too high a dose for her body weight for years.  Given the many ways that COVID can affect the heart (4), ascribing a new heart problem in a COVID infected patient to a drug they are taking for it is a risky exercise at best.  And my patients took the drug for years, compared to the days or weeks a COVID patient might.

But I write here not to save HCQ, only to explain it.  Listed below are the 11 posts touching on HCQ I made in the first 11 months of the pandemic.  In them, you will be able to see many of the origins of my enthusiasm.  My wife and I are taking ivermectin for prophylaxis now.  She needs it as she is surrounded by virus-spewing vaxxed colleagues and students hoping any 100 nm coronavirus they emit will be stopped by the 300+ nm pores in the silly masks they still are required to wear.  Should I ever test positive in my weekly spitting test, I’m asking my doc for a HCQ prescription.


Mar 14, 2020 at 9:40 AM

I told my high school English teacher about HCQ and she asked if she might be able to get the quinine by another route.

Plaquenil for corona

Mar 19, 2020 at 5:38 PM

A brief introduction to HCQ (with pictures) as it was just making the news as a potential treatment for COVID

How Plaquenil May Work

Mar 20, 2020 at 9:01 AM

Basic chemistry and cell biology say HCQ may drown Mr. Corona in Drano

Hands off My Plaquenil?

Mar 23, 2020 at 2:13 PM

An examination of the backlash of rheumatology patients to the use of “their” drug

Hello Plaquenil! You too, Aralen

Mar 30, 2020 at 8:48 AM

An EUA from the FDA for HCQ to treat COVID

Want a Z-Pac with that Plaquenil?

Apr 3, 2020 at 10:47 AM

Dr. Zelenko’s famous regimen


Quinine (HCQ’s precursor) against the Spanish flu

Hail to the Plaquenil, Chief!

May 19, 2020 at 11:59 AM

PDJT takes it.  And look how quick he beat COVID once he caught it!

Plaquenil yay!

Jul 4, 2020 at 2:55 PM

In nearby Henry Ford Hospital, HCQ kept patients out of the hospital, out of the ICU

AMA caves on Plaquenil12

Dec 16, 2020 at 2:13 PM

They sure did, and in a very cowardly way.

how about that Plaquenil?

Jan 24, at 8:56 AM

In Hackensack, HCQ helps keep COVID patients out of the hospital


1.         Ike B.  A pill for COVID?  Posted 11/5/21.  https://theviewfromharbal.com/2021/11/05/a-pill-for-covid/

2.         Ike B.  dewormer – Imovec™, Stromectol™.  posted 9/7/21.  https://theviewfromharbal.com/2021/09/07/dewormer-imovec-stromectol/

3.         Canadian Hydroxychloroquine Study Group. A randomized study of the effect of withdrawing hydroxychloroquine sulfate in systemic lupus erythematosus. N Engl J Med. 1991 Jan 17;324(3):150-4. doi: 10.1056/NEJM199101173240303. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejm199101173240303

4.         Shaha KB, Manandhar DN, Cho JR, Adhikari A, K C MB. COVID-19 and the heart: what we have learnt so far. Postgrad Med J. 2021 Oct;97(1152):655-666. doi: 10.1136/postgradmedj-2020-138284. Epub 2020 Sep 17.  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/344301223_COVID-19_and_the_heartwhat_we_have_learnt_so_far

Published by rike52

I retired from the Rheumatology division of Michigan Medicine end of June '19 after 36 years there. Upon hitting Ann Arbor for the second time (I went to school here) it took me almost 8 months to meet Kathy, 17 months to buy her a house (on Harbal, where we still live), and 37 months to marry her. Kids never came, but we've been blessed with a crowd of colleagues, friends, neighbors and family that continues to grow. Lots of them are going to show up in this log eventually. Stay tuned.

2 thoughts on “HCQ HQ

  1. HCQ is worth a second look, after Harvey Risch explains the statistics for his meta-analysis. He earned a PhD in biostatistics and is able to explain his way of reasoning very clearly and succinctly.

    I hate to watch videos, but I found Risch’s video compelling and riveting. I’ve watched it three times so far. 51 minutes long, given as a seminar to Didier Raoult’s group…

    “Hydroxychloroquine and its friends”


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