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For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org

Hydroxychloroquine

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What is hydroxychloroquine and why is it prescribed?

Hydroxychloroquine is a type of disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD).

It regulates the activity of the immune system, which may be overactive in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus (SLE).



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How do I take hydroxychloroquine and how long does it take to work?

Hydroxychloroquine is usually given as 200–400 mg tablets daily to begin with.

The dose may be reduced after a few months, or you may be able to take it only 2–3 times a week.

It may be 12 weeks or longer before you notice any benefit.



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What are the possible risks and side-effects of hydroxychloroquine?

Side-effects of hydroxychloroquine are uncommon, but some people may experience skin rashes, indigestion, diarrhoea, headaches and blurred vision. Read more >

Can hydroxychloroquine affect other medicines and treatments?

Hydroxychloroquine is often used alongside other disease-modifying drugs but some medicines can interact with it, including indigestion remedies.

Hydroxychloroquine doesn't affect vaccinations.



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Can I drink alcohol while I'm on hydroxychloroquine?

You can drink alcohol while on hydroxychloroquine. However, you should keep within recommended limits if you're also on methotrexate.



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Can hydroxychloroquine affect fertility, pregnancy or breastfeeding?

Current guidelines state that hydroxychloroquine can be used if you're pregnant or breastfeeding.



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