hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) (cont.)

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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.

DOSING: The usual adult dose for treating malaria is 800 mg initially, followed by 400 mg 6-8 hours later and then 400 mg at 24 hours and 48 hours. The dose for malaria prevention is 400 mg every week starting 1 or 2 weeks before exposure and for 4 weeks after leaving the high risk area.

The recommended adult dose for rheumatoid arthritis is 400-600 mg daily for 4-12 weeks followed by 200-400 mg daily.

Systemic lupus erythematosus is treated with 400 mg once or twice daily for several weeks then 200-400 mg daily. Hydroxychloroquine should be taken with food or milk in order to reduce stomach upset.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Administration of hydroxychloroquine with penicillamine (Cuprimine, Depen) may increase penicillamine levels, increasing the risk of penicillamine side effects. The mechanism is unknown. Combining telbivudine (Tyzeka) and hydroxychloroquine may increase the risk of unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness because both drugs cause such side effects.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/28/2014

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