What is hydroxychloroquine and why is it prescribed?
Hydroxychloroquine is a disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD). It regulates the activity of the immune system, which may be overactive in some conditions. Hydroxychloroquine can modify the underlying disease process, rather than simply treating the symptoms.
Hydroxychloroquine is used to treat:
Over the long term hydroxychloroquine can reduce pain, swelling and joint stiffness. If you have lupus, it may also improve the rash. It may be as long as 12 weeks before you notice the benefits.
Hydroxychloroquine is often taken in combination with other drugs such as methotrexate.
Are there any reasons I won't be prescribed hydroxychloroquine?
Before starting on hydroxychloroquine your doctor may take a blood test to check that your liver and kidneys are working normally, but you won't need any regular blood tests during the treatment.
Your doctor will ask you about any problems with your eyesight and may suggest you have a vision test. Hydroxychloroquine won't usually be prescribed if you have existing maculopathy (problems with the central part of the retina)