Plaquenil (Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate)
Plaquenil is a medicine used to treat an infection called malaria. This medication is also used to treat lupus erythematosus (disease that affects the immune system) and rheumatoid arthritis.
Plaquenil can have a greater effect on children. Your child can experience fatal effects if he/she accidentally takes Plaquenil, even in relatively small doses. Keep this medication out of the reach of children.
Do not take Plaquenil during pregnancy, except if you are taking it for the treatment or prevention of malaria. Your doctor will weigh the benefit of using Plaquenil during pregnancy against the risk.
Plaquenil can exacerbate psoriasis or porphyria. Tell your doctor if you have psoriasis (immune disorder that affects the skin) or porphyria (a blood disorder that interferes with how your body produces heme, which is the oxygen-carrying component of your red blood cells) before you start taking this medication.
Take Plaquenil with caution if you have active liver disease, have a history of alcohol abuse, or are taking medications that can affect your liver. Your doctor will monitor your liver while you are taking Plaquenil.
Your doctor will monitor you for blood problems while you are taking Plaquenil. Tell your doctor if you have glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency (lack of an enzyme responsible for the breakdown of red blood cells) before you start taking Plaquenil.
Plaquenil can cause eye or vision problems, especially with long-term or high doses of Plaquenil. Stop taking Plaquenil and tell your doctor right away if you experience vision disturbances. Plaquenil can cause severe muscle weakness if you take it for a long time. Your doctor will perform periodic physical exams, including testing of your knee and ankle reflexes to detect muscular weakness. Stop taking Plaquenil and tell your doctor right away if you experience weakness.
Plaquenil can cause skin rash or inflammation. Use Plaquenil carefully when you take it with any medication that can cause this skin reaction. Tell your doctor if you develop skin rash or inflammation while you are taking Plaquenil.