Plaquenil and coronavirus prevention

Read our Coronavirus and Lupus page.


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This is part of our ongoing coverage of the coronavirus and how it affects those living with lupus. Read more.

First coronavirus vaccine trial set to begin in the US

Answer: The U. There have been stories in the news about hydroxychloroquine because the results of some small studies in China and Europe were initially promising. However, this medicine is not currently recommended as a treatment for the coronavirus at this time because there is not enough evidence that it is effective for this purpose.

Answer: You should not make any changes to your lupus medication or treatment plan unless directed by your lupus doctor. Your doctor knows your symptoms and health status best. Answer: At this time, it is not possible to predict the full scope and duration of the impact the coronavirus pandemic will have on the supply of hydroxychloroquine. We are actively working with our medical and scientific advisors, other patient groups, partners, and the federal government to take steps that ensure people with lupus will be protected from a disruption in access to critical medications.

Many hospitals and clinics that treat people with lupus also are working to ensure that those with existing prescriptions will be able to continue their course of treatment. There have also been reports that drug manufacturers are increasing production of hydroxychloroquine to meet the increased demand. Answer: At this time, it is not possible to predict the full scope and duration of the impact the coronavirus pandemic will have on the supply of hydroxycloriquine.

We are investigating the supply issue and will report to our constituents through our website as more information becomes available. Answer: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention individuals with serious underlying health conditions are at risk of getting very sick from the coronavirus.

People with lupus should follow the guidance of their doctor and the safety guidelines being issued by the CDC. More information on how to prepare, what to do if you get sick, and how communities and caregivers can support those at higher risk is available on People at Risk for Serious Illness from COVID Answer: No. There is no evidence that taking hydroxychloroquine Plaquenil or chloroquine Aralen is effective in preventing a person from contracting the coronavirus, so people who are not already taking this medication do not need to start it now.

People with lupus should follow the guidance of their doctor and the safety guidelines being issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC for people with compromised immune systems. Answer: Only your doctor can increase your prescription quantity. The amount you can receive at one time also will depend on the policies of your health insurance carrier or government-sponsored healthcare program such as Medicare or Medicaid. Answer: Reimbursement for extended supplies of a prescription drug will depend on the terms of your insurance coverage or the policies of government heathcare programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid.

Hydroxychloroquine

Please contact your insurance carrier for details. Answer: Unfortunately, there are no good alternatives to hydroxychloroquine Plaquenil or chloroquine Aralen for people who need these medications. They are in a class by themselves and have the advantage of not being immunosuppressive. This is unlike many other therapies, including glucocorticoids like prednisone that increase risk of infections of all kinds. Your doctor will know best what alternatives may be available for you. Please do not make any changes to what medicines you take or how you take them without talking to your doctor. For additional information on treatments used for lupus see: www.

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What you need to know about hydroxychloroquine and the coronavirus

Walk to End Lupus Now. Start a Fundraiser. Create a Tribute. Livestream to End Lupus. Race to End Lupus. In a smaller sub-group of patients in this study who received an additional antibiotic, azithromycin commonly available as Zithromax in the United States together with hydroxychloroquine, percent of patients had no virus detected at day six. President Trump recently communicated appropriate optimism regarding these medications. More information is needed from larger trials, but at a time when no reasonable alternatives exist, this is certainly cause for optimism.


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Several countries, including some clinicians in the United States, are beginning to use hydroxychloroquine for this purpose. This is a medication that has been approved by the FDA for many years for treatment of moderate to severe Rheumatoid Arthritis. One such chemical is Interleukin-6 IL-6 ; tocilizumab inhibits this chemical, theoretically minimizing lung injury.

Several studies in China, Italy, United States and other countries are now under way. As we await the results, this is a drug that some centers are using as an off-label use, since it is already available. It is used in patients who are critically sick with severe pneumonia along with other antiviral agents. Medications that may not work initial data showing no, or very limited, improvement in outcomes.