Chloroquine and plaquenil tab
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 drug is Quineprox, and generic forms of hydroxychloroquine are also available. 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.
Generally, Plaquenil is a monotherapy used alone in cases of lupus that don't include major organ involvement. It's 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.
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. If you weigh less than pounds, you'll get a lower dosage than someone who weighs more than For rheumatoid arthritis , the usual starting dose of Plaquenil is mg twice a day or mg once a day in people weighing 80 kg or more. For lupus , the typical dosage ranges from mg to mg per day, in one or two doses.
The origin of antimalarials dates back to the s in Peru. In , chemists first purified the quinine from the bark. By , anecdotal evidence of improvement in lupus and rheumatoid arthritis came from WWII Allied troops taking a synthetic form of quinine to prevent malaria.
Comparing Chloroquine vs Hydroxychloroquine
Over time, other derivatives of quinine were approved by the FDA—chloroquine in and hydroxychloroquine in In rare cases, Plaquenil can cause a problem with blood flow in the eyes that leads to a condition called hydroxychloroquine retinopathy. If it's not caught early, it's 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. While you're on this drug, 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 this serious side effect.
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. 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.
What are Hydroxychloroquine, Chloroquine and how much do these potential coronavirus drugs cost?
If you're pregnant or trying to get pregnant, discuss Plaquenil with your doctors. Unfortunately, retinal damage caused by Aralen may be irreversible, but this medication is rarely prescribed anymore for lupus. Do not smoke while taking anti-malarial medications, since smoking actually reduces the benefits of these drugs.
In fact, people with lupus should not smoke at all due to their increased risk of cardiovascular disease. You should always take your anti-malarial medications with food to prevent stomach upset.
Chloroquine or Plaquenil: What is it and can it treat coronavirus?
If a stomachache does occur, it is usually temporary. However, if you experience stomach upset while taking generic hydroxychloroquine, ask your doctor about trying name-brand Plaquenil instead. While these medications contain the same active ingredient, the preparation of generic hydroxychloroquine can sometimes cause stomach irritation.
This sort of upset usually does not occur with commercial Plaquenil. Lastly, remember that even though you may feel the benefits of anti-malarial therapy after about a month of treatment, it may take up to three months for the full benefits of the drug to manifest. If you experience any serious adverse effects, notify your doctor. Long-term anti-malarial use is normally safe.
However, if you stop taking your anti-malarial drugs, you may experience a lupus flare. Anti-malarial drugs may have additional health benefits for some people. Potential benefits include greater protection from UV light and lower cholesterol and blood glucose levels. These benefits may be especially helpful for people taking steroids.
In addition, individuals with antiphospholipid antibodies, such as the lupus anticoagulant and anticardiolipin antibodies, may experience a decreased likelihood of blood clots. If side effects do occur, they are usually minor and last only for a short period of time. All information contained within the Johns Hopkins Lupus Center website is intended for educational purposes only.
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Physicians and other health care professionals are encouraged to consult other sources and confirm the information contained within this site. Consumers should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something they may have read on this website. Hydroxychloroquine Plaquenil Chloroquine Aralen Quinacrine Atabrine What are anti-malarial drugs, and why are they used to treat lupus?
Chloroquine phosphate, mg twice a day, was started and continued for 6 months. When last seen in , the patient was asymptomatic. There was no evidence of facial weakness. The weakness of the upper and lower extremities had subsided. She did not suffer from lower-leg numbing.
Her chest x-ray film and ACE levels were normal. This previously healthy year-old woman developed focal motor seizures and transient loss of control of the left leg.
She had no fever, rash, tachycardia, or influenzalike syndrome before the episode. Although results of a neurological examination were normal, an MR image of the brain demonstrated an intracranial mass in the right hemisphere. A chest radiograph showed bilateral hilar adenopathy, and a 67 Ga scan demonstrated uptake in hilar and parotid glands. The biopsy specimens of the brain mass showed noncaseating granulomas Figure 1.
The patient's condition responded to corticosteroids, but she developed severe psychological side effects and depression. The prednisone dosage was tapered and chloroquine phosphate, mg twice a day, was added. Finally, prednisone was discontinued. The patient's hair became bleached. Her condition remained stable for 2 years without seizures. At various times her medications included verapamil hydrochloride, sustained release Calan SR , mg twice a day; clonazepam Klonopin , 0. Her seizures recurred after the discontinuation of chloroquine. Because mg chloroquine phosphate tablets were unavailable, hydroxychloroquine sulfate was started at mg twice a day.
The patient became asymptomatic. This patient's neurosarcoidosis was characterized by remissions and exacerbations. She will continue to need treatment for a long period. In , a year-old man of Dutch ancestry developed acute iritis, fever, erythema nodosum, and joint pains. About a year later he noticed weakness of the right hand grip.
He could not twist caps off bottles with his right hand. Along with the progressive weakness, wasting of the right hand and forearm muscles became prominent. In early , the patient began to have pain in the left forearm muscles, atrophy of the left thenar eminence, and numbness of the left thumb, index, and middle fingers. A chest radiograph showed diffuse pulmonary infiltrate.
An older DMARD for RA and other autoimmune diseases
Noncaseating granulomas were present in lung biopsy specimens. In June , a neurological examination disclosed moderate atrophy of the right forearm and intrinsic hand muscles and selective atrophy of the left abductor pollicis brevis muscles. There were frequent twitches of the fingers on the right hand. Muscle strength was normal in the shoulders, upper arms, and wrist extensors. In the right arm, there was moderate weakness of wrist flexion and finger extension, slight weakness of hand grip, slight weakness of flexor pollicis longus and digitorum profundus, and severe weakness of intrinsic hand muscles.
In the left upper extremity, strength was normal except for slight weakness of the abductor pollicis brevis. There was no weakness in the lower extremities. Reflexes were normal except for absent right finger flexion reflex, reduced left finger flexion reflex, and absent left ankle reflex. The plantar reflexes were flexor. Sensation was normal. Results of a nerve conduction study and electromyography were consistent with diffuse axonal neuropathy, predominantly motor, with some mild demyelinating features and relative preservation of the sensory potentials.