Introduction – Plaquenil is also known as Hydroxychloroquine is a medicine that can be used for the treatment of malaria in those areas where malaria remains sensitive to chloroquine. This medicine is also used to treat lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. This medicine is taken through the mouth in the form of hydroxychloroquine sulfate.
This medicine was permitted in the United States for medical use in the year 1955 and listed as an essential medicine of the World Health Organization (WHO). Plaquenil was the 129th most commonly prescribed medicine with more than 5 million prescriptions in the United States in the year 2018.
Uses – Plaquenil is used in the treatment of malaria that is caused by mosquito bites. The United States Center for Disease Control offers the latest strategies and travel recommendations to prevent and treat malaria in several parts of the whole world. You should also consult with your doctor before travelling to those areas where malaria occurs. This medicine is also used in treating several auto-immune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus. Plaquenil belongs to a group of medicines called as Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs).
How to take – Take this medicine via the mouth with food to prevent stomach pain as per instructed by your doctor. This medicine should be taken normally once a week on the same day for the treatment of malaria. You should take this medicine 1 to 2 weeks before you traveling to the malarious area. If you live more days in the malarious area then should take this medicine for 4 to 8 weeks after leaving the malarious area.
To treat rheumatoid arthritis, you should take this medicine normally once or twice regularly as instructed by your doctor. You should take this medicine daily for getting the most benefit from it. Do not stop taking this medicine instantly without consulting with your doctor as it may lead to the return of the infection. After taking this medicine for a long time, if your condition is not improved then contact to your doctor immediately.
Dosage instructions – The dosage of this medicine is depending on your past or present medical conditions, age, gender, and response to therapy. But in children, the dosage is based on your weight. During treatment, you should increase the dose gradually as instructed by your doctor. If your condition is improved then reduce the dose of this medicine as per consult with your doctor,
- Miss dose – If you miss the dose on any day then take this medicine immediately. But do not take an extra dose of this medicine to make up the dose.
- Overdose – The overdose of this medicine can cause severe side effects that are not good for your health. So, if you take an overdose of this medicine by fault on any day then immediately contact to your doctor for medical help.
Side effects – There are some of the side effects of this medicine are given below –
- Loss of appetite
- Sudden weight gain
- Hearing loss
- Irregular heartbeat
- Blurred vision
- Sore throat
- Abdominal pain
- Muscle weakness
- Dark urine
- Low blood sugar
Precautions – There are some of the important precautions taken before or after taking this medicine are given below –
- Do not take this medicine if you have any heart problems as this medicine may cause harmful effects on your heart.
- If you are suffering from any vision problem then do not take this medicine due to this medicine may harm the retina of your eyes.
- You should not take this medicine if you have an allergic problem with this medicine as it may cause side effects.
- This medicine is not approved for those people who are younger than 18 years old for the treatment of lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
- During treatment, if you have any side effects after taking this medicine then consult with your doctor to resolve this problem.