We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our site. Cookies are files stored in your browser and are used by most websites to help personalise your web experience.

By continuing to use our website without changing the settings, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more
For more information, go to


Print page Open all Reset all

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).

Read more >

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.

Read more >

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.

Read more >

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.

Read more >

Can hydroxychloroquine affect fertility, pregnancy or breastfeeding?

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

Read more >
For more information, go to or call 0300 790 0400 to order the complete printed booklet.
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.