Plaquenil

How Plaquenil Works

It is not well understood how Plaquenil helps treat autoimmune diseases like lupus and many types of arthritis.

It is thought that Plaquenil interferes with how cells in the immune system communicate with each other.

Side Effects of Plaquenil

MORE COMMON side-effects include:

  • Nausea & diarrhea – Plaquenil agrees with most people. Rarely it can cause an upset stomach or diarrhea.
  • Skin rash – Plaquenil can rarely cause a rash. Patients who experience this rare side effect should stop taking this medicine and contact their doctor.
  • Headaches – Plaquenil can rarely cause a headache.
  • Sun Sensitivity – Plaquenil can sometimes make the skin more sensitive to the sun. Patients should wear sunscreen.
  • Ringing in the Ears

RARE BUT SERIOUS side-effects include:

  • Changes to the Eyes – Plaquenil can rarely cause changes to the retina in the back of the eye. Patients should get their eyes checked by an eye doctor every year to make sure the medicine isn’t affecting the back of the eye. The most common symptoms of this side effect are difficulty reading or seeing (words, letters, or parts of objects may be missing) or blurred vision. The changes are reversible if this is detected early.

How to minimize the side-effects of Plaquenil:

  • Patients should get their eyes checked by an eye doctor every year.

People taking Plaquenil should tell their doctor if they are concerned about any side effects.

Who Should NOT Take Plaquenil

People who should NOT be taking Plaquenil include:

  • Anyone who has had a previous reaction to Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine)
  • Those who have had eye problems as a result of Plaquenil

When to Call a Doctor

People taking Plaquenil should call their doctor if they feel sick and want to stop, or if they are concerned about any side effects.

Other reasons to call a doctor while taking Plaquenil include:

  • Development of a rash
  • Feeling sick
  • Ringing in the ears

Plaquenil Video

Watch Dr. Andy Thompson, a Canadian rheumatologist, introduce Plaquenil.