hydroxychloroquine

Hydroxychloroquine : Drug Information

What is Hydroxychloroquine?

Hydroxychloroquine is commonly available under the brand name called Plaquenil. Doctors prescribe this medication is to treat or prevent certain types of malaria. Hydroxychloroquine is also beneficial in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, porphyria cutanea tarda. It is available in the form of oral tablets. During the global pandemic, doctors use hydroxychloroquine to treat patients affected with COVID-19. Still, in clinical trials, scientists found that this is not an effective medicine for COVID and can leave dangerous side effects on the patient. Doctors should not use this medication for the patient below 18 years to treat lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. You can avail of this medication with a proper prescription from the doctor.

What to know before taking hydroxychloroquine?

You should avoid hydroxychloroquine if you are allergic to it or any of its components. To ensure that this is safe for you, you must tell your doctor if you have or ever had the following medical issues:

  • Problem in vision
  • Damage in the retina caused by anti-malaria medication
  • Heart disease
  • Heart rhythm disorder (also known as long QT syndrome)
  • Diabetes
  • Problem in stomach
  • Allergic to quinine
  • Liver infections
  • Kidney disease
  • Genetic enzyme deficiency, also known as glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency
  • Addiction to alcohol
  • Porphyria- genetic enzyme disorder that affects the skin or nervous system
  • Psoriasis

Lactating mothers should consult the doctor about this before start taking this medication. Expecting women should avoid taking hydroxychloroquine during their pregnancy. You must tell your doctor about the medicine you are currently taking or have taken in the past few weeks.

How to take hydroxychloroquine?

It would be best if you take hydroxychloroquine precisely as prescribed by the doctor. You must follow all the instructions given on the prescription label and medicine carefully. Don’t take this medication more often than prescribed. Take hydroxychloroquine tablets after a meal or with a glass of milk unless your doctor advises it. If you have lupus or arthritis, doctors may prescribe you to take hydroxychloroquine daily. It is usually taken once a week on the same day to reduce malaria symptoms or prevent malaria.

You should consult your doctor if you are not still feeling recovered. While using this medication, you may require to have frequent medical tests and check-ups. Keep hydroxychloroquine beyond the reach of children.

Hydroxychloroquine dosage

  • Dosage for Malaria

For adults (18 years or above)

The initial dose of this medication should be around 800 mg; after that, 400 mg thrice.

Doctors may prescribe this medication as the preventive measure and post-treatment medicine of malaria.

For children(below 18 years)

The dosage of hydroxychloroquine for children is dependent on their body weight. The initial dose of this medication will be 13 mg/kg (maximum upto 800 mg) after that, 6.5 mg/kg (maximum upto 400 mg)

Doctors may prescribe this medication as the preventive measure and post-treatment medicine of malaria.

  • Dosage for lupus erythematosus

For adults (18 years or above)

200-400 mg per day, given to the patient twice or thrice a day.

For children (below 18 years)

Doctors should not recommend this medication for the patient below 18 years of age.

  • Dosage for rheumatoid arthritis

For adults(18 years or above)

400-600 mg per day, given to the patient twice or thrice a day.

For children (below 18 years)

Doctors should not recommend this medication for the patient below 18 years of age.

Overdose

If you ever experience hydroxychloroquine overdose symptoms, you must ask for medical assistance as soon as possible. You can avail of medical help by calling the poison helpline at 1-800-222-1222. You should not ignore these overdose symptoms, as an overdose of this medication can be fatal.

You may experience the following overdose symptoms:

  • Drowsiness
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Problem in vision
  • Weak pulse rate
  • Seizures
  • Pounding heartbeats
  • Shallow breathing
  • Faintness
  • Slow heart rate

The list as mentioned above of symptoms is inclusive. The patient may experience other symptoms, as well. The doctors need to monitor the patient closely.

What to avoid while using hydroxychloroquine?

Hydroxychloroquine may cause the blurred vision and may impair your reactions. While taking this medication, you must avoid driving and other hazardous activities. You should avoid taking antacids four hours before or after taking this medication.

Hydroxychloroquine side effects

The common side effect of using this medication are as follows:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness or drowsiness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Feeling nervous
  • Irritation
  • Skin rash or itching
  • Hair loss

The list as mentioned above of symptoms is inclusive. The patient may experience other symptoms too.

You should consult the doctor if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Seizure
  • Yellowness in the eyes
  • Trouble in hearing
  • Problem in ears
  • Unusual mood swings
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Underactive reflexes
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Tiredness
  • Sore throat
  • Mouth sores
  • Easy bruising
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Pale skin
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Short of breath
  • Lightheadedness

You should immediately stop using hydroxychloroquine and consult your doctor if you experience the following:

  • Blurred vision
  • Trouble focusing
  • Trouble reading
  • Distorted vision
  • Blind spots
  • Changes in your color vision
  • Hazy or cloudy vision
  • Seeing light flashes or streaks, seeing halos around lights
  • Increased sensitivity to light

What drugs can interact with hydroxychloroquine?

If your doctor is treating you with hydroxychloroquine, he must be knowing all the possible interactions with other drugs. It is your responsibility to tell the doctor about all the over the counter medicines you take or taken in the past few days. The following medicines may interact with hydroxychloroquine:

  • Seizure medication
  • Insulin or other diabetes medications
  • Heart medication
  • Tamoxifen
  • Cimetidine
  • Cyclosporine
  • Methotrexate
  • Praziquantel
  • Vitamin supplements
  • Herbal products

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

X