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
- G6PD deficiency
- heart disease
- history of irregular heartbeat
- if you often drink alcohol
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- 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. Do not cut, crush or chew this medicine. Swallow the tablets whole. Take this medicine with food. Avoid taking antacids within 4 hours of taking this medicine. It is best to separate these medicines by at least 4 hours. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take it 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:
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?
Visit your health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Tell your health care professional if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.
You may need blood work done while you are taking this medicine. If you take other medicines that can affect heart rhythm, you may need more testing. Talk to your health care professional if you have questions.
Your vision may be tested before and during use of this medicine. Tell your health care professional right away if you have any change in your eyesight.
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
- muscle weakness
- 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
- suicidal thoughts
- 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):
- hair loss
- loss of appetite
- nausea, vomiting
- stomach pain
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.
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.