General Information on Plaquenil
Plaquenil is used to treat specific types of malarial infections (caused by P. malariae, Plasmodium vivax, susceptible strains of P. falciparum and P. ovale). It is also prescribed for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and lupus (including chronic discoid lupus and systemic lupus erythematosus).
Hydroxychloroquine, the main active ingredient in Plaquenil, is also its chemical name, and it belongs to a family of drugs known as antimalarial, anti-inflammatory (disease-modifying), and anti-rheumatic medications. It works by penetrating the bacteria in infected RBCs and forming complexes with parasite DNA. This action interferes with the important internal functions of bacteria, which leads to their death.
Plaquenil works differently in the case of rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. It restricts immune system reactions that are considered to be the causes of these diseases.
The medication is available in the form of a tablet. The drug is a prescription medication, which means you should consult your doctor before you buy Plaquenil.
Side effects of Plaquenil
Some common side effects associated with Plaquenil are headaches, vomiting, loss of appetite, ringing of the ears, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nervousness, nightmares, or irritability. Consult your doctor if any side effects become bothersome or persist.
Plaquenil may also cause severe side effects in some people. Delusions or hallucinations, easy bleeding or bruising, seizures, hearing loss, numbness or muscle weakness, and frequent/severe infections are some severe side effects associated with Plaquenil. The medication may also cause heart problems or allergic reactions. Stop using the medication and seek help immediately if you notice or experience severe side effects after using Plaquenil.
Plaquenil is listed as a pregnancy category C drug. It is not known whether it passes into breast milk. Therefore, pregnant women, women who are planning to get pregnant, and nursing mothers should learn about the risks and benefits of using the drug from their doctor before they buy Plaquenil online.
Dosage of Plaquenil
The dosage of Plaquenil depends on various factors such as the medical condition being treated, the age and weight of the patient, other medical conditions he/she has, and the other drugs the patient is using. The recommended dosages for various conditions are as follows-
To prevent malaria - the recommended adult dose is 400mg of Hydroxychloroquine on the same day each week. You need to start taking Plaquenil two weeks before visiting an endemic area and continue suppressive therapy for eight weeks after leaving the endemic area.
To treat malaria - the recommended initial dose for adults is 800mg Hydroxychloroquine followed by one 400mg Hydroxychloroquine dose in the next 6-8 hours. You will also be required to take one 400mg dose each day for the following two consecutive days.
To treat lupus erythematosus - the recommended initial dose for adults is 400mg Hydroxychloroquine once or twice a day. The maintenance dose is in the range of 200mg to 400mg daily.
To treat rheumatoid arthritis – the recommended initial dose for adults is in the range of 400mg to 600mg daily. The maintenance dose is in the range of 200mg to 400mg. Take the Plaquenil 200mg tablet with food or a glass of milk.
Plaquenil may potentially interact with other medicines you are using and cause side effects. It may interact with specific beta blockers, specific parasite medications, Digoxin, Mefloquine, Cyclosporine, and Phenothiazines. This is not a complete list of medications that may interact with Plaquenil.
To reduce the risk of drug interactions, consult your doctor before you buy Plaquenil and inform him/her about every medicine (prescription drugs, over the counter medicines, and herbal supplements) you are using before starting treatment.