Plaquenil is an oral tablet consisting of an antimalarial quinoline drug called hydroxychloroquine. We carry both the brand choice and generic alternative to this medication in 200mg!
Plaquenil is prescribed to treat or prevent a disease called malaria, common in areas such as Africa, South America, and Southern Asia. Malarial parasites can be found in female mosquitoes and are contracted once the mosquito bites you. Once the parasite has entered your body, it will travel to your liver and begin multiplying, invading your red blood cells (which carry oxygen throughout the body). Eventually, the parasites will multiply so much that your red blood cells will burst due to the overload of the parasite, releasing the parasite into the blood stream. A person with malaria may find themselves throwing up or feeling nauseous, having a headache, diarrhea, body aches, yellow skin, kidney failure, seizures, confusion, or being very tired.
Your doctor will tell you before prescribing you Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) exactly how to take this medication. Follow his or her directions, they can usually be found on the prescription label if you forget.
You may take Plaquenil with a meal or a glass of milk. During treatment, ensure you wear protective clothing, insect repellant, and mosquito netting around your bed to prevent an affected mosquito from biting you. If you become exposed to malaria; contact your doctor right away.
Do not use Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine)
Do not use Plaquenil if you are allergic to hydroxychloroquine or under the age of 18 years old.
Dose adjustment or special precautions may be required
You will need to discuss what medical conditions you have with your doctor before starting treatment. Ensure you to tell your doctor , if you have a history of vision changes or damage to your retina caused by an anti-malaria medication, heart disease, heart rhythm disorder, diabetes, a stomach disorder, liver or kidney disease, psoriasis, alcoholism, an allergy to quinine, or a genetic enzyme disorder such as porphyria or glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency.
Taking this medication in high doses or for an extended period of time may cause permanent damage to the retina of the eye. Contact your doctor right away if you suspect retina damage (see side effects).
It is not known if this drug will harm an unborn baby. If you are pregnant or become pregnant during treatment, it is recommended you tell your doctor. Malaria is more likely to cause death in a woman who is pregnant.
It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk or if it will harm a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast feeding while using Plaquenil.
Common side effects of Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) may include:
The above side effects should not alarm you.
Serious side effects of Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) may include:
If you have any of the above side effects, contact your doctor right away.
Contact your doctor if you notice signs of…
low blood sugar - headache, hunger, sweating, irritability, dizziness, nausea, fast heart rate, and feeling anxious or shaky; or
low blood cell counts - fever, chills, sore throat, weakness or ill feeling, swollen gums, mouth sores, skin sores, rapid heart rate, pale skin, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, feeling light-headed.
What is the average dose for adults preventing malaria? What about adults treating malaria?
1. Preventing malaria: Start your first dose 2 weeks before entering an at risk area of malaria. Continue taking the medicine daily during your stay and for 4 weeks after leaving.
1.1. Dose: 400mg once weekly on the same day each week.
2. Treating malaria: Take your dose for three days, starting with a high dose followed by a smaller dose for the next 2 days.
2.1. Dose: 800mg followed by 400mg at 6hrs, 24hrs, and 48hrs after the initial dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Contact emergency services right away. An overdose on this drug can be fatal, especially in children, and must be treated quickly. You may need to induce vomiting to help get some of the drug out of your system. Watch for signs of overdose (drowsiness, vision changes, slow heart rate, chest pain, severe dizziness, seizure (convulsions), or shallow breathing).
What other drugs will affect Plaquenil?
other medicines to treat malaria, an antibiotic or antifungal medicine, antiviral medicine to treat hepatitis or HIV/AIDS, antidepressants or antipsychotic medicines, birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, cancer medication, cholesterol-lowering medication, heart or blood pressure medicine, pain or arthritis medicines (including aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, and Aleve), seizure medication, stomach acid reducers, or tuberculosis medicine. This is not a complete list of drugs that interact with hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil).
What other conditions may this medication be used for?
This medication may be used along with other medications to treat autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.