What to Know About Plaquenil (Hydroxychloroquine)
Jun 20, · Plaquenil works to treat lupus by inhibiting overactive immune cells. This helps to reduce inflammation. Plaquenil and other antimalarials may also reduce the risk of lupus spreading and affecting other parts of the body like the kidneys, brain, and spinal cord. Plaquenil, hydroxychloroquine, and other antimalarials treat symptoms of lupus by providing the following benefits: Fewer flare-ups. •3 anti-malarial drugs have been prescribed for lupus symptoms. •Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) is the most commonly prescribed because it is generally believed to cause fewer side effects of them all. •Chloroquine (Aralen) has a reputation for more serious side effects, but it may be.
Plaquenil is most known for its original purpose: treating and preventing malaria. Malaria is a disease caused by parasites that can enter the body through a mosquito bite.
The essential ingredient, known as quinine, is derived from the bark of the cinchona plant. Quinine, same as what is found in small amounts in tonic water, have been found to have health benefits beyond being an antimalarial including pain relief. The original use of quinine dates back at least to the s in South America. But, the use of the drug expanded in part due to observations made during World War II.
Many people were using quinine or synthetic versions of it to prevent malaria. Doctors noticed that rheumatic symptoms improved when taking quinine, which led to the use of medications like Plaquenil to combat lupus, rheumatoid arthritis RAand other autoimmune conditions.
DMARD stands for disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs. These types of drugs have the impact of slowing down disease progression. Long-term use of Plaquenil is associated with damage to the retina in the eye, the portion of the eyeball that is sensitive to light. It is important to see an ophthalmologist before starting Plaquenil to establish a baseline. And, you should have regular eye screenings the entire time you take the medication.
While eye damage only occurs in about 1 in 5, people that take the drug for at least 5 years, it is important to monitor. It is crucial that you do NOT smoke while taking Plaquenil, or other antimalarial medications.
Smoking reduces the effectiveness of the medication. And, smoking is not recommended for anyone, particularly those with a higher risk of cardiovascular what body system does hiv aids affect. To prevent upset stomach, take Plaquenil with food. Also, the generic version of Plaquenil, hydroxychloroquine, can cause additional stomach irritation. If you are experiencing consistent stomach aches, it may be useful to talk to your doctor about taking the brand-name alternative.
You can take antimalarials during pregnancy, but it is important to speak with your doctor regarding adjusting your lupus treatment plan if you become pregnant. Not all medications taken for lupus are approved for use if you are pregnant. Of note: While you may experience benefits of the medication at 1 month, it can take up to 3 months for the benefits to be fully realized.
The Plaquenil label information from the FDA is available here. Antimalarials are able to help modulate the immune system. And, they have the additional benefit of not making your body more susceptible to infection a noted side effect of many other lupus medications. The Johns Hopkins Lupus Center reports :. Despite this, the FDA label still states that the mechanisms underlying the anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects of the drug are unknown.
Antimalarial medications are typically well tolerated. A full list of known side effects can be found here. The recommended adult dosage for a person with lupus is to mg daily. It can be taken in two doses or at one time. It is possible to overdose on Plaquenil as it is rapidly and completely ignored upon ingestion. Toxic symptoms may occur within 30 minutes. Symptoms of overdose include:. A total of drugs are known to interact with Plaquenil, including 8 major drug interactions.
For a full list that can be easily searched, visit drugs. You should avoid taking antacids or Kaopectate within 4 hours of taking Plaquenil.
Some antacids may make it harder for your body to absorb the medication. Benlysta is a relatively inexpensive medication that is likely covered, at least in part, by insurance. Using GoodRxthe estimates for 60 mg tablets are:. While Plaquenil was not created with the explicit purpose of helping people minimize the disease activity of lupus, a number of clinical trials have been conducted to examine the clinical impact of the medication.
Additionally, the study confirmed that the medication was well tolerated by the participants. As the name suggests, this cohort is made up of people of various ethnicities. An additional finding of the study was that patients treated with Plaquenil tended to have less what to do if you get burnt by boiling water disease activity.
Because previous studies have found strong connections between Plaquenil and decreased lupus flaresthe amount of damage to the bodyand the favorable impact on survivalthe researchers deemed it to be unethical to conduct a double-blind, placebo study. Instead, the researchers used statistical models to create two groups based on the likelihood of a patient being prescribed Plaquenil after accounting for disease severity and socio-demographic factors.
It is by comparing these two groups that the researchers could conclude that Plaquenil provided a statistically beneficial protective effect on survival both on its own and in conjunction with other lupus medications.
The researchers made this determination using odds ratios — these are a measure of the association between an exposure in this case, taking Plaquenil and an outcome here, survival. The researchers concluded that these positive outcomes, and the limited side effects, make Plaquenil a powerful force in the fight against lupus.
After taking plaquenil, mg twice a day, for 18 years, I developed severe retina damage. A year later, after moving to another state, I saw another eye doc for my checkup. I told her what I was seeing, blurred vision in the left eye, lights in a circle, right eye, lights in a partial circle. She did a retina exam, saw nothing abnormal, but ordered additional tests.
They showed severe damage. But how to put video on powerpoint 2011 make sure your eye doc does more testing if you experience any of the visual field things I did. And yes, What is t4 tax return missed more and more in the color chart that in the beginning were very clear.
I cannot drive at night any longer. I wear glasses to see to drive during the day. Good luck, and I do hope that Plaquenil works as well for you as it did for me without the eye problems. How to connect proxy server in android rheumatologist wants me to take Plaquenil, but I have a strong family history of macular degeneration and am afraid to take it.
Many people have been overmedicated, according to an article in Ocular Surgery News U. Edition, September 10, Your email address will not be published. What is Plaquenil Hydroxychloroquine?
How does Plaquenil help me battle lupus? Side Effects of Plaquenil Antimalarial medications are typically well tolerated. Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects: Blurred vision or changes in your vision Convulsions, seizures, or other neurological symptoms these are very rare Muscle aches or weakness Nervousness or anxiety Headaches If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor: Dry skin Loss of appetite Upset stomach or cramps Diarrhea Bleaching of hair or hair loss Blue-back discoloration of skin, fingernails, or inside of the mouth A full list of known side effects can be found here.
Starting Plaquenil Plaquenil is sold in mg tablets. Drug interactions with Plaquenil A total of drugs are known to how long to foreclose on a house with Plaquenil, including 8 major drug interactions. Some of the medications that may interact with Plaquenil include: Arava lefunomide Aurolate gold sodium thiomalate Aubagio Ferriprox Mellaril Sabril.
Cost Benlysta is a relatively inexpensive medication that is likely covered, at least in part, by insurance. Lupus and Plaquenil research What is area code for singapore Plaquenil was not created with the explicit purpose of helping people minimize the disease activity of lupus, a number of clinical trials have been conducted to examine the clinical impact of the medication.
There were participants in the trial. The ethnic breakdown was: Hispanics from Texas Hispanics from Puerto Rico African-Americans Caucasians An additional finding of the study was that patients treated with Plaquenil tended to have less severe disease activity.
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What is Plaquenil?
This action suppresses the normally overactive immune response in lupus patients which may explain one reason Plaquenil works so well for those suffering with lupus. Plaquenil is a slow-acting drug, meaning that it can take up to 6 months to experience the full benefits of this medication, but it is possible for symptoms to improve in as few as 1 or 2 months. In , discoid lupus patients were treated successfully with Atabrine, a compound developed in Germany in the s. In the mids, both hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and chloroquine (CQ) had been synthesized. In HCQ was shown to be effective for both systemic lupus . Doctors noticed that rheumatic symptoms improved when taking quinine, which led to the use of medications like Plaquenil to combat lupus, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and other autoimmune conditions. The name “quinine” is derived from Quechua, the language of the Inca in Peru.
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Plaquenil hydroxychloroquine is classified as a disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug DMARD and antimalarial drug. It comes in pill form and is taken by mouth for rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions.
Its method of action isn't fully understood, but it's believed to involve modulating but not suppressing the immune system. Another brand name containing the same active ingredient is Quineprox, and generic forms of hydroxychloroquine are also available.
Plaquenil is approved by the U. For RA and lupus, Plaquenil is prescribed as a disease-modifier, meaning that it:. While it's not known exactly how Plaquenil works, researchers believe it interferes with communication between cells within the immune system.
Plaquenil is a slow-acting drug. Most people who take it begin to notice improvement after one or two months, but it may take up to six months to see the full benefits. While the FDA granted emergency use authorization for both hydroxychloroquine sulfate and chloroquine phosphate products for COVID in March, on June 15, it revoked the authorization , citing ineffectiveness and serious side effects. Doctors may prescribe Plaquenil or generic hydroxychloroquine off-label for these or other uses.
Generally, Plaquenil is a monotherapy used alone in cases of lupus that don't include major organ involvement. It's also used as monotherapy in mild RA.
In moderate and severe cases, it may be prescribed alone or in combination with methotrexate , sulfasalazine , or both. Before prescribing this drug, your doctor may perform tests, such as Vectra DA , to assess the severity of your disease and response to current medications.
Before you take Plaquenil or generic hydroxychloroquine, tell your doctor if you've ever had an allergic reaction to this or similar drugs. Plaquenil and other antimalarial drugs may not be safe for people with:.
The dosage of Plaquenil is weight-dependent. That means the specific dosage you'll get depends on both your illness and how much you weigh. For lupus , the typical dosage ranges from mg to mg per day, in one or two doses. For malaria treatment, dosages range up to mg per day.
All listed dosages are according to the drug manufacturer. Check your prescription and talk to your doctor to make sure you are taking the right dose for you. Plaquenil should always be taken with a meal or a glass of milk to help prevent stomach irritation.
Swallow the pills whole with liquid. Do not chew or crush Plaquenil tablets. Don't take antacids within four hours of taking Plaquenil, as they interfere with how your body absorbs this drug, making it less effective. If you miss a dose, take Plaquenil as soon as you remember, unless it's nearly time for your next dose.
In that case, skip the one you missed. Taking two doses close together at once could lead to overdose. You may have symptoms of toxicity within 30 minutes, which may include:.
Store your medication at room temperature, away from excess heat or moisture. Plaquenil is generally well-tolerated, but as with any drug, side effects are possible. Common side effects linked to Plaquenil include:.
Let your doctor know if any of these side effects are severe or don't go away. Taking the medication with food may ease digestive side effects. In rare cases, Plaquenil can cause a problem with blood flow in the eyes that leads to a condition called hydroxychloroquine retinopathy.
Side effects of hydroxychloroquine retinopathy include:. Contact your doctor right away if you experience any of these. If not caught early, the condition is often irreversible and can cause impaired vision or even blindness. If it's caught early and you go off the drug, the problem may be reversible.
Risk of developing this rare problem is higher in people who:. Anyone starting Plaquenil treatment should have a baseline eye exam within the first year. If you're considered low risk, you may not need to be tested for another five years. While taking Plaquenil, be sure to tell you doctor about any vision changes you notice. Doctors generally recommend regular eye exams, and depending on other risk factors, your doctor may require you to have yearly tests to check for early signs of hydroxychloroquine retinopathy.
Other side effects that warrant immediate medical attention include:. Certain drugs may interact with Plaquenil, affecting how it works or causing it to be less effective. Tell your doctor about every medication and supplement you are taking, be it prescription or over the counter.
Drugs that may interact negatively with Plaquenil include:. If you're pregnant or trying to get pregnant, discuss Plaquenil with your doctor. Though Plaquenil is generally regarded as safe during pregnancy, it's recommended that you use effective birth control while taking the drug and for up to six months after going off of it.
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Get yours today! Hydroxychloroquine retinopathy. Eye Lond. Therapy and pharmacological properties of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine in treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis and related diseases. Hydroxychloroquine retinopathy: A review of imaging. Indian J Ophthalmol. National Institutes of Health, U.
National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus. Updated February 18, Prescriber's Digital Reference. Hydroxycloroquine sufate—drug summary. Plaquenil: Hydroxychloroquine sufate, USP. Your Privacy Rights. To change or withdraw your consent choices for VerywellHealth. At any time, you can update your settings through the "EU Privacy" link at the bottom of any page. These choices will be signaled globally to our partners and will not affect browsing data. We and our partners process data to: Actively scan device characteristics for identification.
I Accept Show Purposes. Table of Contents View All. Table of Contents. Before Taking. Side Effects. Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis—Effectively. If you or someone you know has symptoms of Plaquenil overdose, get medical help immediately. Plaquenil and Your Vision.
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