"March 9, 2011 -- The FDA has approved Benlysta, the first new lupus treatment in 50 years.
An FDA advisory panel last November voted 13-2 in favor of approval. But the panel noted that Benlysta is no wonder drug. Overall, it offered a"...
Plaquenil Patient Information including How Should I Take
In this Article
- What is hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)?
- What are the possible side effects of hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)?
- What is the most important information I should know about hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)?
- What should I discuss with my health care provider before taking hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)?
- How should I take hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)?
- What happens if I miss a dose (Plaquenil)?
- What happens if I overdose (Plaquenil)?
- What should I avoid while taking hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)?
- What other drugs will affect hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)?
- Where can I get more information?
What should I discuss with my health care provider before taking hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)?
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to hydroxychloroquine, or if you have a history of vision changes or damage to your retina caused by hydroxychloroquine or similar anti-malaria medications.
Hydroxychloroquine should not be used for long-term treatment in children.
To make sure you can safely take hydroxychloroquine, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
- liver disease;
- alcoholism; or
- glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD) deficiency.
It is not known whether hydroxychloroquine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
Malaria is more likely to cause death in a pregnant woman. If you are pregnant, talk with your doctor about the risks of traveling to areas where malaria is common.
It is not known whether hydroxychloroquine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I take hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)?
Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Take hydroxychloroquine with a meal or a glass of milk, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
Hydroxychloroquine is sometimes given only once per week. Choose the same day each week to take this medication if you are on a weekly dosing schedule.
To prevent malaria: Start taking the medicine 2 weeks before entering an area where malaria is common. Continue taking the medicine regularly during your stay and for at least 8 weeks after you leave the area.
To treat malaria: Your doctor may recommend a single dose, or a high starting dose followed by a smaller dose 6 to 8 hours later for 2 days in a row. Follow your doctor's instructions.
Take this medicine for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms may get better before the infection is completely treated.
In addition to taking hydroxychloroquine, use protective clothing, insect repellents, and mosquito netting around your bed to further prevent mosquito bites that could cause malaria.
Contact your doctor as soon as possible if you have been exposed to malaria, or if you have fever or other symptoms of illness during or after a stay in an area where malaria is common.
When treating lupus or arthritis, hydroxychloroquine is usually given daily for several weeks or months. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 6 months of treatment.
If you take hydroxychloroquine long-term, your doctor may need to check your knee and ankle reflexes and also do blood tests on a regular basis to check for harmful side effects. Your vision may also need to be tested every 3 months. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.
No medication is 100% effective in treating or preventing all types of malaria. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Talk with your doctor if you have fever, vomiting, or diarrhea during your treatment.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
Additional Plaquenil Information
- Plaquenil Drug Interactions Center: hydroxychloroquine oral
- Plaquenil Side Effects Center
- Plaquenil Overview including Precautions
- Plaquenil FDA Approved Prescribing Information including Dosage
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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
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