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Plaquenil

( hydroxychloroquine )
 

200 mg white, scored, round tablet


Purpose

To reduce inflammation and retard disease progression in rheumatoid arthritis; to reduce disease activity in systemic lupus erythematosus.

 

Indications

Rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.


Dosage

One to two tablets ( 200 to 400 mg ) per day.


Side effects

This is the best tolerated of all drugs used for rheumatoid arthritis, and side effects are unusual. With a very few people, gastric upset or muscular weakness may result. Consideration needs to be given to the possibility of eye toxicity, which is an occasional complication of anti-malarial drugs. This is a rare complication and appears to be always reversible if the patient is monitored with periodic eye examinations after the first year of treatment.

 

Special hints

Plaquenil takes six weeks to begin to show an effetc, and full effect can take up to twelve weeks, so plan on at least a twelve-month trial. The eye complications appear to be much less common with Plaquenil than with chloroquine, the anti-malarial drug that used to be sued most often. They seldom if ever are seen with less than one year of treatment at recommended dosage. Bright sunlight seems to increase the frequency of eye damage, so we recommend using sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats for sun protection. we recommend eye examinations after one year of continuous treatment and at six-month intervals thereafter. This should give ample warning of any problems. Do not exceed two tablets daily. Since the drug is so well tolerated, both tablets may be taken together in the morning. The good effects of this drug are long-lasting, and continue for weeks or months after the drug is stopped. Overall, this is the safest drug available for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and lupus; it should be used with respect but not fear.

         
         

     

         

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