Plaquenil is the name of a drug, the active ingredient of which is hydroxychloroquine sulfate . It is used to treat autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and other more serious diseases, along with their complications. It is usually combined with other drugs to improve treatment.

What is Plaquenil for?

In the beginning, hydroxychloroquine sulfate was used to prevent or treat malaria , a disease caused by mosquito bites that carry the infection. Plaquenil is currently used to treat inflammatory diseases . These diseases are also called autoimmune , because in them the immune system attacks the healthy tissues themselves.

Plaquenil is used to:

  • Treat Lupus
  • Treat rheumatoid arthritis
  • Treat Sjögren’s Syndrome

Lupus disease is one in which the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue . This attack can damage the skin, joints, kidneys, brain, and some other organs. It causes fever, rashes, other skin problems, and more serious symptoms.

The rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that inflames the joints of hands, feet, arms and legs, and the tissues surrounding them. It is so painful that it leaves the patient unable to move. Because of its chronic nature, people can live with it for many years. Long-term treatment is needed.

The Sjogren syndrome is the autoimmune disorder in which will destroy the glands that secrete tears and saliva . This causes dry mouth and eyes. In addition, it can affect other organs such as the lungs and kidneys. It generally accompanies other autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

Plaquenil’s job is to reduce the immune system process that causes inflammation .

Recommended dosage of Plaquenil

Plaquenil, which is hydroxychloroquine sulfate, is administered in doses of 200mg or 400mg daily in adult patients. Sometimes they can be higher. Treatment with Plaquenil is prolonged and can take from one to six months for the patient to show improvements in their condition.

Plaquenil contraindications

For the administration of Plaquenil, the following should be taken into account:

  • Pregnant women have to discuss their condition with the doctor.
  • Women planning to conceive a child in the near future should discuss this with their doctor before taking this medication.
  • Inform the physician if other drugs or treatments are being administered to the patient.
  • In lactating women, it should be taken into account that hydroxychloroquine passes into breast milk. Its intake seems to be safe, but it must be considered.

Plaquenil side effects

The most common side effects of Plaquenil are: nausea and diarrhea, which improve over time or when ingested with meals.

The rarer side effects of Plaquenil are:

  • Rashes.
  • Changes in skin pigmentation.
  • Changes in hair pigmentation.
  • Muscular weakness.
  • Anemia in people with porphyria.

A rare side effect of Plaquenil is that it damages the retina of the eye . Long-term hydroxychloroquine in Plaquenil can damage this light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. A serious consequence of this is vision loss . It can occur in people who consume high doses for a long time, or people over 60 years of age who already have kidney problems.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical information. Consult your doctor.


Samantha Robson
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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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