Plaquenil and/or Equivalents
|Drug||Related Drug Names|
|Plaquenil 200mg and/or Equivalents||Apo-Hydroxyquine, Hydroxychloroquine, Plaquenil|
Plaquenil Drug Description
Plaquenil is an oral medicinal drug that is made up of Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate, which is a colourless, crystalline solid that is partly water soluble. Plaquenil tablets normally contain about 200 mg of Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate. The medication is only sold as an oral drug. Plaquenil tablets are white to off white in colour and are film coated. Other prominent inactive ingredients present in the drug include Dibasic Calcium Phosphate, Magnesium Stearate, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Polyethylene glycol 400, Titanium Dioxide and Starch.
Conditions Treated by Plaquenil
Plaquenil is often used to treat symptoms of malaria. It is a disease modifying, anti rheumatic drug. It is used to treat auto immune conditions too. It is also commonly indicated in the treatment of discoid and systemic lupus erythematosus and sometimes rheumatoid arthritis. For exceptional medical cases, doctors may prescribe the drug for illnesses other than the ones listed above.
Plaquenil Dosage Information
a.) Typical dosage recommendations
The normal recommended dosage is 200 mg, twice a day. Doctors usually prescribe 200 mg at the start of the treatment. Afterwards, based on a patient’s response to the drug and seriousness of the illness, the dosage may be increased gradually. Sometimes doctors may prescribe 400 mg once a day if a patient is on other medication at the same time. Sometimes, doctors may consider a person’s body weight before administering the dosage. Furthermore, depending on the condition the patient is being treated for, there may be dose fluctuations.
b.) Missing a dose
When on treatment for malaria or rheumatoid arthritis, every dosage counts. If you forget a dose it may increase the severity of certain symptoms or the illness temporarily. When you realize that you have missed a dose, it is important to contact your doctor immediately. Based on your present health condition and illness, your doctor would advise you the best way forward. Under normal circumstances, a replacement drug may be taken within 3-4 hours.
Overdosing on Plaquenil can sometimes prove to be fatal. If you overdose on the medication by mistake, immediate medical care and hospitalization will be necessary. Symptoms of drug overdose include consistent headache, drowsiness and changes in vision, cardiovascular collapse and convulsion. An overdose may also lead to cardiac arrest in severe cases. After an overdose, a patient may need to be pumped immediately to rid the body of toxins due to drug overdose. â€¨After a patient is treated for an overdose, he must be kept under strict observation for 24 hours. If serious problems arise due to overdose, ammonium chloride should be administered orally for several months; at least four times a week after the drug has been discontinued. This is because the acidification of the urine increases with drug overdose.
For treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, it is important for a patient to get an allergy test done before beginning medication. Inactive ingredients in the drug may lead to allergies. Children are especially sensitive to Plaquenil. Children should be administered the drug only if necessary, in lower quantities, under strict supervision. Patients who suffer from skin problems like psoriasis may experience aggravated symptoms of the disease due to Plaquenil. If it is absolutely necessary for a patient suffering from skin problems to be administered Plaquenil, lower doses should be administered at frequent intervals of time. Furthermore, the patient should be under observation throughout treatment. It is not safe for pregnant women to consume Plaquenil. However, in certain cases, if a pregnant patient is suffering from malaria then Plaquenil may be administered to suppress the illness. The type of parasite that has infected the patient influences the doctor’s decision. Certain strains of the malaria virus are resistant to Plaquenil. In these cases, treatment with quinine or other forms of therapy is advised. Long term high doses can lead to permanent retinal damage. It is important for doctors to regularly examine patients while on Plaquenil. If long term use is necessary then lower doses should be administered. The testing of knee and ankle reflexes is important during this time. This will help detect early signs of muscular weakness. When there are signs of muscle weakness, the drug should be discontinued immediately. The drug should be discontinued if patients experience abnormality in the visual acuity, retinal areas or light flashes. During rheumatoid arthritis treatment, if positive effects are not seen within six months, then the drug should be discontinued. Antimalarial medication should be used carefully on patients suffering from hepatic disease. Periodic blood tests should be conducted on patients who are on long term treatment. The drug should be carefully administered to patients with impaired renal function and metabolic acidosis.
Plaquenil Side Effects
Like most medicinal drugs, Plaquenil too may cause side effects. The severity of the side effects suffered may vary from person to person. Sometimes, patients may experience mild headaches, dizziness and gastrointestinal problems like diarrhoea, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal cramps, vomiting, weight loss etc. If symptoms last for a couple of hours and disappear on their own, then there is usually nothing to worry about. However, if symptoms persist for more than a day then necessary action will have to be taken. Some patients may experience extreme irritability, changes in mood, nervousness, anxiety, psychosis, vertigo, tinnitus, nystagmus, nerve problems, convulsions, ataxia. Muscle myopathy, depression or slower reflexes have also been observed in some patients. Other minor side effects include blurred vision, decreased corneal sensitivity, eye pain, edema, abnormal pigmentation. Abnormal changes in hair colour and texture including bleaching, alopecia, photosensitivity, unnatural skin eruptions, erythema and dermatitis are also some of the common side effects of Plaquenil. Some patients may suffer from allergic reactions too resulting in skin rashes, hives, sores etc. In certain cases, patients may suffer from unique side effects not listed above. While on medication, if you experience any physical discomfort, pain or abnormality, it is important to contact your doctor immediately. Sometimes, patients may suffer from rare side effects and early corrective treatment will be required immediately.
Plaquenil Drug Interactions
There is no clinical medical data regarding drug interactions with Plaquenil.
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Notice: The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.