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Plaquenil vs. Rheumatrex, Trexall

Reviewed on 4/2/2019

Are Plaquenil and Rheumatrex, Trexall the Same Thing?

Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) and Rheumatrex and Trexall (methotrexate) are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

Plaquenil is also used to treat or prevent malaria, and to treat symptoms of discoid or systemic lupus erythematosus.

Rheumatrex and Trexall are also used to treat some cancers and severe skin diseases such as severe psoriasis.

Plaquenil and Rheumatrex and Trexall belong to different drug classes. Plaquenil is an antimalarial medication and Rheumatrex and Trexall are antimetabolite drugs.

Side effects of Plaquenil and Rheumatrex and Trexall that are similar include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, or headache.

Side effects of Plaquenil that are different from Rheumatrex and Trexall include stomach pain or cramps, loss of appetite, weight loss, diarrhea, spinning sensation, ringing in your ears, mood changes, nervousness, irritability, skin rash, itching, or hair loss.

Side effects of Rheumatrex and Trexall that are different from Plaquenil include inflammation of the lips and mouth, upset stomach, abdominal pain, tired feeling, bleeding of your gums, blurred vision, and low number of white cells in blood (leukopenia).

Both Plaquenil and Rheumatrex and Trexall may interact with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antibiotics, or seizure medications.

Plaquenil may also interact with acetaminophen, cancer medications, tuberculosis medications, birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, arthritis medications, ACE inhibitors, antifungals, cholesterol medications, or HIV/AIDS medications.

Rheumatrex and Trexall may also interact with azathioprine, chloramphenicol, hydroxychloroquine, retinoids, steroids, sulfa drugs, probenecid, tetracycline, theophylline, gold treatments, oral diabetes medications, medicines that reduce stomach acid, or salicylates.

QUESTION

The term arthritis refers to stiffness in the joints. See Answer

What Are Possible Side Effects of Plaquenil?

Common side effects of Plaquenil include:

  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • stomach pain or cramps,
  • loss of appetite,
  • weight loss,
  • diarrhea,
  • dizziness,
  • spinning sensation,
  • headache,
  • ringing in your ears,
  • mood changes,
  • nervousness,
  • irritability,
  • skin rash,
  • itching, or
  • hair loss.

Tell your doctor if you experience serious side effects of Plaquenil including:

  • muscle weakness,
  • twitching,
  • uncontrolled movement,
  • loss of balance or coordination,
  • blurred vision,
  • light sensitivity,
  • seeing halos around lights,
  • pale skin,
  • easy bruising or
  • bleeding,
  • confusion,
  • unusual thoughts or behavior, or
  • seizures (convulsions).

What Are Possible Side Effects of Rheumatrex, Trexall?

Common side effects of Rheumatrex, Trexall include:

  • inflammation of the lips and mouth,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • upset stomach,
  • abdominal pain,
  • dizziness,
  • tired feeling,
  • headache,
  • bleeding of your gums,
  • blurred vision, and
  • low number of white cells in blood (leukopenia).

Tell your doctor if you have serious side effects of Rheumatrex including:

  • dry cough,
  • shortness of breath;
  • diarrhea,
  • white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;
  • blood in your urine or stools;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • sore throat and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash;
  • pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, weakness;
  • loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

What Is Plaquenil?

Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) is an antimalarial medication used to treat or prevent malaria, a disease caused by parasites, which enter the body through the bite of a mosquito. Plaquenil is also used to treat symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and discoid or systemic lupus erythematosus. Plaquenil is available in generic form.

What Is Rheumatrex, Trexall?

Rheumatrex (methotrexate) is an antimetabolite drug that is used to treat some cancers, severe skin diseases such as severe psoriasis, and to treat forms of rheumatoid arthritis.

What Drugs Interact With Plaquenil?

Plaquenil may interact with acetaminophen, cancer medications, tuberculosis medications, birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, arthritis medications, ACE inhibitors, antibiotics, antifungals, cholesterol medications, HIV/AIDS medications, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), or seizure medications. Tell your doctor all medications you use.

What Drugs Interact With Rheumatrex, Trexall?

Rheumatrex may interact with azathioprine, chloramphenicol, hydroxychloroquine, retinoids, steroids, sulfa drugs, phenytoin, probenecid, tetracycline, theophylline, gold treatments, oral diabetes medications, penicillin antibiotics, medicines that reduce stomach acid, NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), or salicylates. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. Rheumatrex should not be used in pregnant or breastfeeding women.

SLIDESHOW

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)? Symptoms, Treatment, Diagnosis See Slideshow

How Should Plaquenil Be Taken?

The adult dose of Plaquenil to suppress malaria is 400 mg on the same day each week. The pediatric weekly suppressive dosage is 5 mg/kg of body weight. The adult dose of Plaquenil to treat an acute attack of malaria is an initial dose of 800 mg followed by 400 mg in six to eight hours and 400 mg for two more days. To treat lupus erythematosus, the average adult dose is 400 mg once or twice daily.

How Should Rheumatrex, Trexall Be Taken?

The dose of Rheumatrex is designed for each patient's problem and can range from about 7.5 mg per week to 30 mg per day, depending on the disease process and the doctor's judgment. Rheumatrex has been used in children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, and doses were individualized.

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Drug information found in the drug comparisons published on RxList.com is primarily sourced from the FDA drug information. The drug comparison information found in this article does not contain any data from clinical trials with human participants or animals performed by any of the drug manufacturers comparing the drugs.

The drug comparisons information provided does not cover every potential use, warning, drug interaction, side effect, or adverse or allergic reaction. RxList.com assumes no responsibility for any healthcare administered to a person based on the information found on this site.

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References

FDA. Plaquenil Product Information.
https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2017/009768s037s045s047lbl.pdf
FDA. Rheumatrex Product Information.
https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2016/008085s066lbl.pdf
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