Hydroxychloroquine

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What is hydroxychloroquine?

Hydroxychloroquine is a type of disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD). It dampens down the underlying disease process, rather than simply treating symptoms.

Why is hydroxychloroquine prescribed?

Hydroxychloroquine is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

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, and when your condition is very well controlled you may only need to take hydroxychloroquine 2–3 times per week.

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

What are the possible side-effects of hydroxychloroquine?

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

What are the risks of taking hydroxychloroquine?

You can have vaccinations while on hydroxychloroquine and there’s no particular reason to avoid alcohol. It's generally considered to be safe in pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

What else should I know about hydroxychloroquine?

Before you start taking hydroxycholoroquine, yourhealthcare team will discuss other treatment options with you. You may need a blood test and eye test.

While taking hydroxycholoroquine,your sight will be monitored and you should report any visual symptoms. Some drugs interact with hydroxychloroquine so you should discuss any new medications (including complementary medicines) with your doctor before starting them, and you should always tell any other doctor treating you that you’re taking hydroxychloroquine.

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