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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Plaquenil Sulfate

Generic Name: hydroxychloroquine (Pronunciation: hye drox ee KLOR oh kwin)

What is hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil Sulfate)?

Hydroxychloroquine is used to treat or prevent malaria, a disease caused by parasites. Parasites that cause malaria typically enter the body through the bite of a mosquito. Malaria is common in areas such as Africa, South America, and Southern Asia.

Hydroxychloroquine is also used to treat symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and discoid or systemic lupus erythematosus.

Hydroxychloroquine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Hydroxychloroquine 200 mg-COP

oblong, white, imprinted with COPLEY 774

Hydroxychloroquine 200 mg-GG

round, white, imprinted with GG 260

Hydroxychloroquine 200 mg-INV

oblong, white, imprinted with INV, 250

Hydroxychloroquine 200 mg-MYL

round, white, imprinted with M, 373

Hydroxychloroquine 200 mg-TEV

oblong, white, imprinted with 93 9774

Hydroxychloroquine 200 mg-WAT

oval, white, imprinted with WATSON, 698 200

Plaquenil 200 mg

peanut, imprinted with PLAQUENIL

What are the possible side effects of hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil Sulfate)?

Some people taking this medication over long periods of time or at high doses have developed irreversible damage to the retina of the eye. Stop taking hydroxychloroquine and call your doctor at once if you have trouble focusing, if you see light streaks or flashes in your vision, or if you notice any swelling or color changes in your eyes.

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • muscle weakness, twitching, or uncontrolled movement;
  • loss of balance or coordination;
  • blurred vision, light sensitivity, seeing halos around lights;
  • pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding;
  • confusion, unusual thoughts or behavior; or
  • seizure (convulsions).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • headache, ringing in your ears;
  • spinning sensation;
  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain;
  • loss of appetite, weight loss;
  • mood changes, feeling nervous or irritable;
  • skin rash or itching; or
  • hair loss.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil Sulfate)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to hydroxychloroquine, or if you have a history of vision changes or damage to your retina caused by hydroxychloroquine or similar anti-malaria medications.

Before using hydroxychloroquine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have psoriasis, porphyria, liver disease, alcoholism, or glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD) deficiency.

Call a poison control center at once and then seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. An overdose of hydroxychloroquine can be fatal, especially in children.

Take this medicine for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms may get better before the infection is completely treated.

Contact your doctor as soon as possible if you have been exposed to malaria, or if you have fever or other symptoms of illness during or after a stay in an area where malaria is common.

When treating lupus or arthritis, tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 6 months of treatment.

If you take hydroxychloroquine long-term, your doctor may need to check your knee and ankle reflexes and also do blood tests on a regular basis to check for harmful side effects. Your vision may also need to be tested every 3 months. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

Hydroxychloroquine should not be used for long-term treatment in children.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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