Highlights for hydroxychloroquine
Hydroxychloroquine oral tablet is available as a brand-name drug and a generic drug. Brand name: Plaquenil.
Hydroxychloroquine comes only as a tablet you take by mouth.
Hydroxychloroquine is used to treat malaria, lupus erythematosus, and rheumatoid arthritis.
What is hydroxychloroquine? Hydroxychloroquine is a prescription drug. It comes as an oral tablet. Hydroxychloroquine is available as the brand-name drug Plaquenil. It’s also available in a generic version. Generic drugs usually cost less than the brand-name version. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name drug. Hydroxychloroquine may be used as part of a combination therapy. That means you may need to take it with other drugs. Why it’s used Hydroxychloroquine is used to treat lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. It’s also used to prevent and treat malaria.
How it works Hydroxychloroquine is an antimalarial drug. It treats malaria by killing the parasites that cause the disease. It isn’t fully understood how this drug works to treat lupus erythematosus or rheumatoid arthritis. However, it’s believed that this drug affects how your immune system works, which may be a benefit in lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Hydroxychloroquine side effects Hydroxychloroquine oral tablet doesn’t cause drowsiness, but it can cause other side effects. More common side effects The more common side effects that can occur with hydroxychloroquine include:
Mild side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if they’re more severe or don’t go away. Serious side effects Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:
blurred vision or other vision changes, which may be permanent in some cases
heart disease, including heart failure and issues with your heart rhythm; some cases have been fatal
ringing in your ears or hearing loss
angioedema (rapid swelling of your skin)
mild or severe bronchospasm
unusual bleeding or bruising
blue-black skin color
hair loss or changes in hair color
abnormal mood changes
mental health effects, including suicidal thoughts