hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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GENERIC NAME: hydroxychloroquine

BRAND NAME: Plaquenil

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Hydroxychloroquine is classified as an anti-malarial drug. It is similar to chloroquine (Aralen) and is useful in treating several forms of malaria as well as lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. Its mechanism of action is unknown. Malarial parasites invade human red blood cells. Hydroxychloroquine may prevent malarial parasites from breaking down (metabolizing) hemoglobin in human red blood cells. Hydroxychloroquine is effective against the malarial parasites Plasmodium vivax, P. malariae, P. ovale, and susceptible strains of P. falciparum. Hydroxychloroquine prevents inflammation caused by lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. The FDA approved hydroxychloroquine in April, 1955.

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Tablet: 200 mg.

STORAGE: Hydroxychloroquine should be stored at room temperature up to 30 C (86 F) in a sealed, light resistant container.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Hydroxychloroquine is used for the treatment of malaria due to Plasmodium vivax, P. malariae, P. ovale, and susceptible strains of P. falciparum. It also is used for treating rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic discoid and systemic lupus erythematosus when other therapies have failed. It may prevent relapse and relieve skin inflammation, hair loss, mouth sores, fatigue, and joint pain caused by systemic lupus erythematosus.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/28/2014

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