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By Medicover Hospitals / 11 March 2021
Home | Medicine | Plaquenil

What is Plaquenil?

  • Plaquenil, also known as hydroxychloroquine, is a malaria medication used to treat or prevent the disease caused by parasites that enter the body through a mosquito bite. Hydroxychloroquine is not effective against all strains of malaria, nor is it effective in areas where the infection has developed resistance to a similar drug known as chloroquine. Plaquenil is also used to treat rheumatoid arthritis symptoms as well as discoid or systemic lupus erythematosus.
    1. Plaquenil Uses
    2. Plaquenil Side effects
    3. Precautions
    4. Dosage
    5. Storage
    6. Plaquenil vs Otrexup
    7. Frequently Asked Questions
    8. Citations

    Plaquenil Uses

  • It is used in the prevention or treatment of malaria caused by mosquito bites. This drug is also used to treat auto-immune diseases (lupus, rheumatoid arthritis). It is a type of medication known as a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARDs). It can help with lupus skin problems and arthritis swelling/pain.
  • How to use Plaquenil 200 Mg Tablet

    • To avoid stomach upset, take this medication with food, exactly as directed by your doctor. The duration and dosage of treatment are determined by your medical condition and response to treatment.
    • Take this medicine orally, usually once a week on the same day each week, to prevent malaria. This medication should be typically started one to two weeks before entering the malarious area. Continue to take it weekly while you're in the area and for 4 to 8 weeks after you leave, or as directed by your doctor. Follow your doctor's advice when treating malaria.
    • Take this medication orally as directed by your doctor for lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, usually once or twice daily. Your dosage might be gradually raised by your doctor. After you've been taking the medication for a while and your condition gets improved, your doctor may instruct you to gradually decrease your dosage until you find the dose that works best for you giving more benefits and causing the fewest side effects.
    • If you also take kaolin or antacids such as magnesium or aluminum hydroxide, take it at least 4 hours before or after these medications. These products may lead in binding to hydroxychloroquine, preventing your body from absorbing it completely.
    • To get the most out of this medication, take it on a regular basis. If you take it on a daily basis, take it at the same time(s) daily. Take this medicine exactly as directed. Do not discontinue it without first consulting your doctor, especially if you are taking it to treat malaria.
    • Inform your doctor if your condition gets worse. If you are taking this for lupus or arthritis, it may take several weeks or months to see improvement. In some cases, hydroxychloroquine may not be effective in preventing malaria. If you have fever or other symptoms of illness, seek medical attention right away (especially while in the malarious area and for 2 months after returning from the area).

    Plaquenil Side effects:

    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Loss of appetite
    • Diarrhea
    • Dizziness
    • Headache
    • Shortness of breath
    • Swelling ankles/fee
    • Tiredness
    • Weight gain
    • Mental or mood changes
    • Anxiety
    • Depression
    • Hearing changes
    • Easy bruising or bleeding
    • Signs of infection
    • Fever
    • Liver disease
    • Stomach or abdominal pain
    • Yellowing skin
    • Muscle weakness
    • Hair loss
    • Low blood sugar
    • Sweating
    • Shaking
    • Hunger
    • Blurred vision


    • Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, or if you have any other allergies. Some inactive ingredients present in this product may cause allergic reactions or other problems.
    • Tell your doctor or pharmacist about your medical history, especially if you have: a specific enzyme problem (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency-G6PD), vision/eye problems, hearing problems, kidney disease, liver disease, regular alcohol use/abuse, skin problems (such as psoriasis), a specific blood disorder (porphyria) and seizures.
    • This product may have an effect on your blood sugar if you have diabetes. Check your levels of blood sugar on a regular basis and share the results with your doctor. If you experience symptoms of low blood sugar, contact your doctor right away. Your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet may need to be adjusted by your doctor.
    • Hydroxychloroquine may result in a heart rhythm disorder (QT prolongation). QT prolongation can cause serious fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms such as severe dizziness and fainting that require immediate medical attention.
    • Older adults may be more sensitive to the drug's side effects, particularly QT prolongation.
    • This medication should not be used during pregnancy. Also, this medicine passes through breastmilk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.


    • Drug interactions can change the way your medications function or put you at risk for serious complications. Maintain a list of all the products you use and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medications without first consulting your doctor.
    • Penicillamine and remdesivir are two drugs that may interact with this one.


  • Overdose of a drug can be accidental. If you have taken more than the prescribed Pregabalin tablets there is a chance of getting a harmful effect on your body’s functions. Overdose of a medicine can lead to some serious medical emergency.
  • Missed Dose

  • If you forget to take any dose of this medicine, skip the missed dose and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double
  • Storage

  • The medicine should not come in direct contact with heat, air, light and may damage your medicines. Exposure to medicine might cause some harmful effects or serious side effects. The medicine must be kept in a safe place and out of children’s reach.
  • Plaquenil vs Otrexup

    Malaria and autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are treated. Inflammation and cell replication are reduced.
    Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) is an effective treatment for autoimmune diseases and malaria with fewer side effects than other DMARDs. Otrexup (methotrexate) is the first-line treatment for many cancers and arthritis, but it has a long list of side effects.
    Used for treating the following
    • -Rheumatoid arthritis
    • -Lupus
    • -Malaria
    Used for treating the following
  • -Cancer
  • -Juvenile arthritis
  • -Rheumatoid arthritis
  • -Psoriasis
  • -Crohn disease
  • -Lupus

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    This drug is also used to treat auto-immune diseases (lupus, rheumatoid arthritis). It is a type of medication known as a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARDs). It can help with lupus skin problems and arthritis swelling/pain.
    If you have previously experienced changes in your vision while taking rheumatoid arthritis or malaria medications, do not take Plaquenil. Plaquenil should not be given to children under the age of six. Plaquenil should not be used in children over the age of 6 for an extended period of time.
    Plaquenil is a very slow-acting medication. You should feel better in 1 to 3 months. You may continue to improve for a year. Plaquenil is commonly used in conjunction with other pain and stiffness medications.
    In patients with HIV infection and inflammatory arthritis, HCQ may have anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects at the same time. If larger studies confirm this finding, it may become the drug of choice in this patient population.
    Treatment with hydroxychloroquine can result in bone marrow depression, anemia, aplastic anemia, leucopenia, thrombocytopenia, agranulocytosis, and a worsening of porphyria. High doses and long-term use are risk factors. Patients on long-term therapy should have full blood counts performed on a regular basis.
    In some cases, this might cause weight gain and in some patients, it leads to weight loss.
    Hydroxychloroquine is used to treat arthritis by reducing inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and joint pain, as well as controlling the symptoms of lupus erythematosus (lupus). Plaquenil is the brand name for hydroxychloroquine.
    Because hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) has been linked to lower levels of cholesterol, blood sugar, and the tendency of blood to clot – all of which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease – researchers investigated the link between HCQ use and the occurrence of heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots (in lungs or deep veins).
    The side effects of Plaquenil range from more common, mild issues such as headache, nausea, and stomach pain to serious but uncommon conditions such as heart problems, muscle weakness, and convulsions. Higher doses and long-term treatment may increase the risk of side effects.
    Unless otherwise directed by your doctor, take this medication with meals or milk to reduce stomach upset. Even if you feel better after the first few doses, continue to take this medication for the duration of your treatment. If you stop taking the medication too soon, your infection may not clear up.
    Hydroxychloroquine is metabolized in the liver and has the potential to alter the metabolism of other medications. Therapy is unlikely to cause liver damage in healthy people, but it can cause an acute worsening of porphyria cutanea tarda in susceptible people.


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