REVIEW The mechanism of plasmodicidal action of amodiaquine is not completely certain. Like other quinoline derivatives, it is thought to inhibit heme polymerase activity. This results in accumulation of free heme, which is toxic to the parasites. The drug binds the free heme preventing the parasite from converting it to a form less toxic. This drug-heme complex is toxic and disrupts membrane function.
Jewell H, Maggs JL, Harrison AC, O'Neill PM, Ruscoe JE, Park BK: Role of hepatic metabolism in the bioactivation and detoxication of amodiaquine. Xenobiotica. 1995 Feb;25(2):199-217.
Harrison AC, Kitteringham NR, Clarke JB, Park BK: The mechanism of bioactivation and antigen formation of amodiaquine in the rat. Biochem Pharmacol. 1992 Apr 1;43(7):1421-30.