Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate (Plaquenil)

What is Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate?

Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate is a Disease Modifying Anti Rheumatic Drug (DMARD). Originally used as an anti malarial it was found to be beneficial in those with inflammatory arthritis and lupus.

FDA approved:

April 1955

Brand Names and International Availability:

Ercoquin (Denmark, Norway, Japan); Haloxin (Korea); Oxiklorin (Finland, Korea); Plaquenil (US); Plaquenil Sulfate (Canada); Plaquinol (Costa-Rica, Dominican-Republic, El-Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, Peru, Portugal); Quensyl (Germany); Toremonil (Japan); Yuma (Korea)

How does it work?

Like many other DMARDS, it is not known exactly how Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate works in rheumatic diseases.


Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate tablets are available in 200mg. Usual maintenance dose is 200-400mgs daily.

How should I take it?

Take as ordered by your doctor. Stomach upset may be lessened by taking it with food or milk.


Usage of this drug during pregnancy should be avoided except when in the judgment of the physician the benefit out-weighs the possible hazard.

Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate may increase psoriatic activity.

Drugs Interactions:

Use with caution if you take other drugs that are potentially damaging to the liver.

Some antacids may decrease absorption of Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate. Do not use antacids for several hours prior to and after your regular dose of Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate.

Possible side effects:

These side effects are not considered serious but are certainly annoying for those experiencing them. The most frequently reported side effects include fatigue, nausea, headache, dizziness, diarrhea, loss of appetite and hair loss. These side effects may decrease over time.

More serious side effects that you should report right away include blurred vision, or change in vision, fever or chills, sore throat, confusion, or other mental changes, ringing in the ears, unusual bleeding or bruising.

Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate has the potential to cause retinopathy and other vision problems, most of these problems are reversible when the drug is discontinued.

Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate has the potential to cause certain blood abnormalities.

Precautions & Special Notes:

Due to the potential for visual problems, frequent eye exams are required while on this medication. Usual recommendation is an exam every 6 months.

You will be required to have frequent blood work while on this medication. It is very important that you keep all lab and doctor?s appointments.

Never stop the medication unless instructed by your physician.

For more information:

RxList Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate
Pharm Info Net


Mosby’s GenRx?, 10
th ed. Copyright ? 2000 Mosby, Inc.

Complete Guide to Prescription and Nonprescription Drugs, H. Winter Griffith, M.D. , Copyright ? 1997