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Anyone know anything about Hydroxychloroquine?
2 Replies
fibromite.u.k. - March 10

I saw a different rheumatologist a week ago and she was very very thorough, examined me all over and asked all kinds of questions I had not been asked before. She says that while she doesn't doubt that I have fibromyalgia and CFS, that she thinks there is another underlying disease going on as well and that it may be Reumatoid Arthritis, or even Lupus. At lot of things point to it such as repeated unexplained anemia, extreme pain in my fingers and toes, bending and breaking nails, occasional swelling of one side of my face and many other things.

I also have a blood disease called Hughes Syndrome and it concerned her that I am not taking anything for that. The usual thing is aspirin and I am allergic to that.

She gave me a leaflet to read about a drug called Hydroxychloroquine which she says was originally devleoped for malaria, but which is often used in both Hughes and Reumatiod Arthritis and she wants me to consider going on it. It can affect your vision but it is rare for it to do that, so she is sending me to see an eye specialist, although the wait is long, to see what he thinks about the health of my eyes.

Sorry to be so long in coming to my question, but I wonder if any of you know anything about this drug or have been on it and what they think to it. I do hope that I get some answers. I have been so ill with pain and general exhaustion lately that I apologise for not writing in her more often.


Fantod - March 10

Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) is used for the treatment of malaria due to Plasmodium vivax, P. malariae, P. ovale, and susceptible strains of P. falciparum. It is also used for treating rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic discoid and systemic lupus erythematosus when other therapies have failed. It may prevent relapse and relieve skin inflammation, hair loss, mouth sores, fatigue, and joint pain caused by systemic lupus erythematosus.

DOSING: The usual adult dose for treating malaria is 800 mg initially, followed by 400 mg 6 hours later then 400 mg on days 2 and 3. The dose for malaria prevention is 400 mg every week starting 1 or 2 weeks before exposure and for 4 weeks after leaving the high risk area.

The recommended adult dose for rheumatoid arthritis is 400-600 mg daily for 4-12 weeks followed by 200-400 mg daily.

Systemic lupus erythematosus is treated with 400 mg once or twice daily for several weeks then 200-400 mg daily. Hydroxychloroquine should be taken with food or milk in order to reduce stomach upset.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Administration of hydroxychloroquine with penicillamine (Cuprimine, Depen) may increase penicillamine levels, increasing the risk of penicillamine side effects. The mechanism is unknown. Combining telbivudine (Tyzeka) and hydroxychloroquine may increase the risk of unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness because both drugs cause such side effects.

SIDE EFFECTS: Side effects include irritability, headache, weakness, hair lightening or loss, stomach upset, nausea, dizziness, muscle pain, rash and itching. Rarely, hydroxychloroquine can affect the bone marrow leading to reduced white blood cells (leukopenia) or platelets (thrombocytopenia) and abnormal red blood cells (anemia). Rare but potentially serious eye toxicity can occur. This toxicity affects a part of the eye called the retina and can lead to color blindness and even loss of vision. An ophthalmologist (eye specialist) often can detect changes in the retina that suggest toxicity before serious damage occurs. Therefore, regular eye examinations, even when there are no symptoms, are mandatory. Patients who are genetically deficient in a certain enzyme, called G6PD, can develop a severe anemia resulting from the rupture of red blood cells. This enzyme deficiency is more common in persons of African descent and can be evaluated by blood testing. Hydroxychloroquine may worsen psoriasis.


TLC4ME - March 20

Hi there,

I was on Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquinel) for Rheumatoid Arthritis when I was first diagnosed. It helped me a lot. Realized the pain started to not be so bad. You do have to have monthly blood work, get your eyes checked every 6 mos. and listen to everything your Rheumy tells you. I wish you the best of luck.




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