What is this medicine?
HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE (hye drox ee KLOR oh kwin) is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. It is also used to treat malaria.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Plaquenil, Quineprox
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
eye disease, vision problems
history of blood diseases
history of irregular heartbeat
if you often drink alcohol
an unusual or allergic reaction to chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Avoid taking antacids within 4 hours of taking this medicine. It is best to separate these medicines by at least 4 hours. Do not cut, crush or chew this medicine. You can take it with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Take all of your medicine as directed even if you think you are better. Do not skip doses or stop your medicine early.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medicine?
Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
live virus vaccines
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
medicines for diabetes, like insulin, glipizide, glyburide
medicines for seizures like carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin
other medicines that prolong the QT interval (cause an abnormal heart rhythm)
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Tell your doctor or healthcare professional if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.
Avoid taking antacids within 4 hours of taking this medicine. It is best to separate these medicines by at least 4 hours.
Tell your doctor or health care professional right away if you have any change in your eyesight.
Your vision and blood may be tested before and during use of this medicine.
This medicine can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
changes in vision
decreased hearing or ringing of the ears
redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
sensitivity to light
signs and symptoms of a dangerous change in heartbeat or heart rhythm like chest pain; dizziness; fast or irregular heartbeat; palpitations; feeling faint or lightheaded, falls; breathing problems
signs and symptoms of liver injury like dark yellow or brown urine; general ill feeling or flu-like symptoms; light-colored stools; loss of appetite; nausea; right upper belly pain; unusually weak or tired; yellowing of the eyes or skin
signs and symptoms of low blood sugar such as feeling anxious; confusion; dizziness; increased hunger; unusually weak or tired; sweating; shakiness; cold; irritable; headache; blurred vision; fast heartbeat; loss of consciousness
uncontrollable head, mouth, neck, arm, or leg movements
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
loss of appetite
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children. In children, this medicine can cause overdose with small doses.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Protect from moisture and light. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.