* In the dermatological context, Hydroxychloroquine is used primarily to treat rheumatoid arthritis and cutaneous lupus erythematosus and rashes associated with systemic lupus erythematosus.
Hydroxychloroquine (Trade names: Plaquenil, Dolquine, and Quensy) is an antimalarial medication. However, besides being effective against malaria, Hydroxychloroquine is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and cutaneous lupus erythematosus and rashes associated with systemic lupus erythematosus, as well as some photosensitivity disorders and other inflammatory skin conditions. With systemic lupus, it is especially useful in relieving skin inflammation, hair loss, oral sores, fatigue and joint pain as well as preventing relapse.
For Lupus erythematosus, the starting dose is 400 milligrams once or twice a day, for several weeks or months, depending on the reaction. The dosage may be reduced to 200 from 400 milligrams per day for maintenance. For Rheumatoid arthritis, the dose is 400 to 600 milligrams per day with food or milk; after improvement, which can take from four to 12 weeks, the maintenance dose is 200 to 400 milligrams daily.
Side effects are not common, but for prolonged treatment of lupus or arthritis, they can include altered eye pigmentation, acne, anemia, bleaching of hair, blisters in mouth and eyes, blood disorders, convulsions, significant vision difficulties, diminished reflexes, emotional changes, excessive coloring of the skin, hearing loss, hives, itching, liver problems or failure, loss of hair, muscle paralysis, weakness or atrophy, nightmares, psoriasis, reading difficulties, tinnitus, skin inflammation and scaling, skin rash, vertigo, and weight loss. Hydroxychloroquine can also worsen existing cases of psoriasis. Visual disturbances are the most troubling side effect for long-term users. If you experience any of these side effects, notify your doctor immediately.
The e most common side effects, however, are stomach upset (nausea and diarrhea).
Notes of Precaution
* Hydroxychloroquine should not be used long-term in children.
* Notify your doctor if you are allergic to hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine, primaquine, or any other drugs.
* Hydroxychloroquine can also interfere with insulin or other anti-diabetic drugs.
* It is very important to let you doctor know if you have vision changes while you're taking Hydroxychloroquine .
* Notify your doctor if you have or have ever had liver disease, psoriasis, porphyria or other blood disorders, G-6-PD deficiency, or dermatitis.
* Notify your doctor if you are a heavy drinker.
* If you have certain eye diseases, you are cautioned against using Hydroxychloroquine.
* Hydroxychloroquine should be stored at room temperature and be kept out of reach of children.