Plaquenil is often taken by patients to prevent and treat malaria, which is a common disease, especially in South America, Africa and Southern Asia. This medication is also used by patients to treat symptoms caused by rheumatoid arthritis.
Basic Precautions for All Users
Before you start this treatment, tell doctors if you have any possible allergic reactions. They also need to know if you abuse alcohol, have liver problems, psoriasis and other serious conditions. Get emergency medical help if you suspect overdosing, because it can be quite dangerous. When using Plaquenil to treat arthritis or lupus, inform doctors if its signs are still present. It’s advisable to make regular blood tests, but you should be careful with its intake if you have vision changes. This medication is not intended to be used by kids for a long time. To ensure that this treatment is safe for you, inform your physician about such conditions as:
Porphyria and psoriasis;
Drug abuse and liver diseases.
Pregnant and nursing women should be careful with Plaquenil too, because it may cause harm.
Unwanted Side Effects
If you take this medication in higher doses or for a long time, you may end up with irreversible retina damage. Stop this treatment and go to the hospital if you have difficulty focusing, see flashes or light streaks, and if you experience color changes and swelling. Get emergency medical help if you have any signs of serious allergic reactions, including difficulty breathing, hives, swelling, etc. The good news is that severe Plaquenil side effects are rare, but they all require urgent medical care, including:
Losing coordination or balance;
Easy bleeding or bruising and pale skin;
Muscle twitching, weakness and uncontrolled movements;
Increased light sensitivity and blurred vision;
Unusual behaviors or thoughts;
Confusion and seizures.
This medication may cause other side effects that are mild, but they should be reported doctors if any of them get worse:
Vomiting and nausea;
Weight loss and loss of your appetite;
Headaches and hair loss;
Ringing in your ears and unusual mood changes;
Itching and skin rash;
Feeling irritable and nervous.
Possible Plaquenil Interactions
It’s not allowed to take any antacids either after or before the medication use, because of a high risk of developing drug interactions that may cause increased side effects. There are other medications that should be avoided for the same reason, including antifungals, antibiotics, blood pressure drugs, birth control pills, sulfa drugs, Tylenon, cancer meds, arthritis medications, NSAIDs, anti-seizure pills, tuberculosis medicine, cholesterol-lowering treatments, etc. Make sure that your doctor knows about other meds that you’re taking, so make their full list, including prescription and non-prescription drugs, herbal supplements, vitamins and minerals, dietary products and so on.