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PLAQUENIL (hydroxychloroquine) is indicated for the suppressive treatment and treatment of acute attacks of malaria due to Plasmodium vivax, P. malariae, P. ovale, and susceptible strains of P. falciparum. It is also indicated for the treatment of discoid and systemic lupus erythematosus, and rheumatoid arthritis.
PLAQUENIL (hydroxychloroquine) is indicated for the treatment of acute attacks and suppression of malaria.
LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS AND RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS
PLAQUENIL (hydroxychloroquine) is useful in patients with the following disorders who have not responded satisfactorily to drugs with less potential for serious side effects: lupus erythematosus (chronic discoid and systemic) and acute or chronic rheumatoid arthritis.
DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION
One tablet of 200 mg of hydroxychloroquine sulfate is equivalent to 155 mg base.
Malaria: Suppression- In adults, 400 mg (=310 mg base) on exactly the same day of each week. In infants and children, the weekly suppressive dosage is 5 mg, calculated as base, per kg of body weight, but should not exceed the adult dose regardless of weight.
If circumstances permit, suppressive therapy should begin two weeks prior to exposure. However, failing this, in adults an initial double (loading) dose of 800 mg (=620 mg base), or in children 10 mg base/kg may be taken in two divided doses, six hours apart. The suppressive therapy should be continued for eight weeks after leaving the endemic area.
Treatment of the acute attack- In adults, an initial dose of 800 mg (= 620 mg base) followed by 400 mg (=310 mg base) in six to eight hours and 400 mg (=310 mg base) on each of two consecutive days (total 2 g hydroxychloroquine sulfate or 1.55 g base). An alternative method, employing a single dose of 800 mg (=620 mg base), has also proved effective.
The dosage for adults may also be calculated on the basis of body weight; this method is preferred for infants and children. A total dose representing 25 mg of base per kg of body weight is administered in three days, as follows:
First dose: 10 mg base per kg (but not exceeding a single dose of 620 mg base).
Second dose: 5 mg base per kg (but not exceeding a single dose of 310 mg base) 6 hours after first dose.
Third dose: 5 mg base per kg 18 hours after second dose.
Fourth dose: 5 mg base per kg 24 hours after third dose.
For radical cure of vivax and malariae malaria concomitant therapy with an 8-aminoquinoline compound is necessary.
LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS AND RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS
One tablet of hydroxychloroquine sulfate, 200 mg, is equivalent to 155 mg base.
Lupus erythematosus-Initially, the average adult dose is 400 mg (=310 mg base) once or twice daily. This may be continued for several weeks or months, depending on the response of the patient. For prolonged maintenance therapy, a smaller dose, from 200 mg to 400 mg (=155 mg to 310 mg base) daily will frequently suffice.
The incidence of retinopathy has been reported to be higher when this maintenance dose is exceeded.
Rheumatoid arthritis-The compound is cumulative in action and will require several weeks to exert its beneficial therapeutic effects, whereas minor side effects may occur relatively early. Several months of therapy may be required before maximum effects can be obtained. If objective improvement (such as reduced joint swelling, increased mobility) does not occur within six months, the drug should be discontinued. Safe use of the drug in the treatment of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis has not been established.
Initial dosage-In adults, from 400 mg to 600 mg (=310 mg to 465 mg base) daily, each dose to be taken with a meal or a glass of milk. In a small percentage of patients, troublesome side effects may require temporary reduction of the initial dosage. Later (usually from five to ten days), the dose may gradually be increased to the optimum response level, often without return of side effects.
Maintenance dosage-When a good response is obtained (usually in four to twelve weeks), the dosage is reduced by 50 percent and continued at a usual maintenance level of 200 mg to 400 mg (=155 mg to 310 mg base) daily, each dose to be taken with a meal or a glass of milk. The incidence of retinopathy has been reported to be higher when this maintenance dose is exceeded.
Should a relapse occur after medication is withdrawn, therapy may be resumed or continued on an intermittent schedule if there are no ocular contraindications.
Corticosteroids and salicylates may be used in conjunction with this compound, and they can generally be decreased gradually in dosage or eliminated after the drug has been used for several weeks. When gradual reduction of steroid dosage is indicated, it may be done by reducing every four to five days the dose of cortisone by no more than from 5 mg to 15 mg; of hydrocortisone from 5 mg to 10 mg; of prednisolone and prednisone from 1 mg to 2.5 mg; of methylprednisolone and triamcinolone from 1 mg to 2 mg; and of dexamethasone from 0.25 mg to 0.5 mg.
PLAQUENIL (hydroxychloroquine) tablets are white, to off-white, film coated tablets imprinted "PLAQUENIL (hydroxychloroquine) " on one face in black ink. Each tablet contains 200 mg hydroxychloroquine sulfate (equivalent to 155 mg base). Bottles of 100 tablets (NDC 0024-1562-10).
Dispense in a tight, light-resistant container as defined in the USP/NF.
Store at room temperature up to 30° C (86° F).
sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC, Bridgewater, NJ 08807 Revised October 2006., ©2006
sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC
FDA rev date: 6/20/2007
Last reviewed on RxList: 10/4/2010
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