Brand names and manufacturer
What should I know before taking this drug
Additional information if any
Hydroxychloroquine is a prescription drug available from your pharmacy store only with the prescription of a qualified medical practitioner.
Hydroxychloroquine is pronounced as:hi-DROX-ee-KLOR-oh-kwin
Hydroxychloroquine is anti-infective and anti malarial drug.
Hydroxy chloroquine used in the treatment and prevention of malaria.
Hydroxychloroquine used in the treatment of following conditions
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
How to use hydroxychloroquine
Take Hydroxychloroquine exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.
Take each dose with or immediately after meal with a full glass (250m) of water to avoid gastric upset.
It is very important that you take the Hydroxychloroquine at regular intervals to get the desired benefit from the drug
When hydroxychloroquine is prescribed for SLE or Rheumatoid arthritis it takes about 1-2mnths to show its therapeutic effects. Therefore continue taking Hydroxchloroqunine as prescribed by your physician. If the condition doesn’t improve or worsens even after 6 months consult your physician immediately.
When Hydroxychloroquine is used for prophylaxis of malaria it is important to start the medication 1-2 weeks before travelling to the malaria affected areas and continue it till 4 week after leaving the malaria endemic areas.
In spite of taking the medication regularly you can still contract the disease. If you get fever consult your physician immediately.
Do not skip any doses. Continue to take it even when you feel better. You must complete the entire course of medication to get the desired effect. If you don't, the infection will not clear completely and in due course may cause resistance to develop against the drug.
- Always remember to inform your health expert if you are currently taking any prescription like beta blockers, anti arrhythmic drugs, anti depressants other antimalarials etc or OTC medication.
- Inform your doctor if you have following medical conditions as Hydroxychloroquine should be used cautiously in the below mentioned conditions
- liver diseases
- any psychiatric illnesses like anxiety, depression, delusions etc
- seizure disorder
- glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase(G6PD) deficiency
- visual disturbances / retinal problems
If you are hypersensitive to the drug you should not take hydroxychloroquin.
If you notice any visual changes stop taking this medication.
What are the precautions I should follow for hydroxychloroquine?
Children: Hydroxy chloroquin safety is not confirmed in children.
Pregnant woman: Hydroxychloroquine belongs to FDA pregnancy category C. This means that hydroxychloroquine may harm an unborn baby if used during pregnancy but potential benefit may warrant use of the drug in pregnant woman despite potential risks. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or are planning for conception.
Lactating women: It is not known whether hydroxychloroquine passes into breast milk or if it could harm the baby. Do not take hydroxychloroquine with out first talking to doctor if you are breast feeding a baby.
Other: Hydroxychloroquine may cause dizziness, if you feel dizzy do not drive or take part in activity in which you need to be alert.
Your vision may also need to be tested every 3 months. Do not miss any scheduled appointments for eye check up..
Hydroxy chloroquine is available in the form of tablet.
Use as directed by your physician, your physician prescribes depending on the severity of disease.
Use the complete course of medication as prescribed by your physician even though you feel better after one or two days of usage of medication.
If it is almost the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at same time to cover up the missed dose.
In case of overdose contact your nearest poison control centre or emergency medical centre for immediate care by physician.
Over dosage symptoms include
The most common side effects that you may experience on taking hydroxychloroquine medication are
- Psychiatrics symptoms like depression, anxiety
- Ringing sensation in the ear(tinnitus)
Consult you doctor immediately if you experience the following adverse effects
- Allergic reaction like swollen lips, shortness of breath, constricting sensation in the throat etc
- Severe palpitations , irregular heart beat
- Blurred vision , halos around light, any corneal opacities
Store hydroxy chloroquin at room temp (15 – 30 degrees C). Avoid excessive heat, moisture or direct sunlight, never store in the bathroom.
Keep it out of reach of children. Make sure that any left over portion is disposed off safely.
- When Hydroxychloroquine is prescribed for prolonged period as in the treatment of SLE and Rheumatoid arthritis it is very important to get visions tested every 3 months to look for possible retinal damage.
- Consult you physician regularly for routine check up and other laboratory tests to look for harmful effects.
- If you take hydroxychloroquine long-term, your doctor may need to check your knee and ankle reflexes and also do blood tests on a regular basis to check for harmful side effects.
- Hydroxychloroquine is not 100%protective in prevention of malaria. Its is advised to use other mosquito protective measures like using repellents, bed nets , long sleeved clothing, insect sprays etc. In case you get fever, consult your doctor immediately and seek treatment for malaria.
It is imp to read manufacturing packaging instruction carefully if available and always do not hesitate to consult pharmacist or physician for any information.
Written by: Healthplus24 team
Date last updated: May 31. 2012