Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate: What is it? What is it for? Uses, Contraindications and Side Effects

Belongs to the type of antirheumatic drugs and antimalarials.Used to prevent and treat a malaria attack.

It is also used for rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile systemic arthritis and discoid lupus erythematosus. Diseases of the skin caused or aggravated by sunlight. It is also called hydroxychloroquine sulfate. It is usually found under the name of Plaquenil ® or Quinoric ® in the form of tablets. Autoimmune diseases such as arthritis (inflammation of the joints) and lupus erythematosus (also called lupus inflammatory disease), are caused by the immune system attacking itself the system of a body by mistake. This leads to inflammation and damage to the affected tissues and organs.

Initial recommendation: Do not take medication for indigestion, while you are taking hydroxychloroquine. You may have to take hydroxychloroquine for several weeks before you notice any improvement in your condition.

Some medications, such as chloroquine , can suppress the immune reaction and therefore help delay the progress of the disease, although it does not cure it.

Before taking hydroxychloroquine make sure your doctor or pharmacist is aware of it, since you should be careful:

  • If you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.
  • If you have liver or kidney problems.
  • If you have any problem with your vision that is not corrected with the use of glasses.
  • If you have any brain disease or neurological disorders (for example, epilepsy).
  • If you have serious stomach or intestinal problems.
  • If you have glucose dehydrogenase (G6PD) -6-phosphate (a rare enzyme).
  • If you have porphyria (a rare blood disorder).
  • If you have psoriasis (a skin disease).
  • If you suffer from myasthenia gravis (a disease that causes the muscles to be tired and weak).
  • If you have had an allergic reaction to this or any other medication. This is particularly important if you know you are allergic to an antimalarial drug called quinine.

recommendations

  • Take hydroxychloroquine exactly as directed by your doctor.
  • Eat whole tablets (do not crush or chew hydroxychloroquine) with food or a glass of milk.
  • Try to take hydroxychloroquine at the same time (s) every day to avoid missing doses.
  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible, but if it accumulates with the next dose, take only one, do not accumulate two doses at a time.
  • Make the most of your treatment.
  • Keep your regular appointments with your doctor so that your progress can be monitored.
  • If you buy any medication, check with a pharmacist which are safe to take with hydroxychloroquine.
  • Do not take medication for indigestion, while consuming hydroxychloroquine. If you need to take a remedy for indigestion, leave it at least four hours before or after your dose.
  • Your doctor may recommend that you have regular eye exams if you take hydroxychloroquine for a long period of time, as it may affect your vision. If you have been prescribed this medication for skin problems caused or aggravated by sunlight, simply take your dose during periods of high exposure to light.

You may have to take hydroxychloroquine for several weeks before you notice any improvement in your condition. It can be taken 2-6 months before you feel the benefits of this treatment. Even if you start to feel better, keep taking this medicine until your doctor tells you to stop. The interruption can make your condition worsen again. If you have been taking it for several months and you do not feel like it is helping you, talk to your doctor.

Hydroxychloroquine can cause problems

Along with its useful effects all medications can cause unwanted side effects , although not everyone experiences them. These improve as the body adjusts to the treatment, but check with your doctor if side effects continue or become bothersome.

Possible side effects

  • Sensation of discomfort, little appetite and often preferred to simple foods. If the disease continues, or if it is severe, consult your doctor.
  • Headache, ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable analgesic. If the headache continues, or if it is severe, consult your doctor.
  • Problems in the eyes (for example, blurred vision or sensitivity to light). Tell your doctor about it as soon as possible.
  • Other possible side effects: diarrhea, stomach pain, rash or itching. If any of these become bothersome, talk to your doctor
  • Important: If you have trouble breathing or swelling of the mouth or face, talk to your doctor immediately or go to your local emergency assistant without delay.

If you have any other symptoms that you think may be due to this medication, ask your doctor or pharmacist.