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Hydroxychloroquine Tablets

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What is Hydroxychloroquine?

Hydroxychloroquine is effective in preventing and treating acute attacks of malaria in adults and children who are above 31kg. Doctors also prescribe this medication to treat discoid lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis.

It aids in reducing skin problems in lupus and prevents swelling & pain that is common in arthritis. Hydroxychloroquine belongs to a class of drugs called disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs.

This medicine is recommended for treating coronavirus infection and should not be taken unless doctor tells. One can find Hydroxychloroquine as a brand-name drug Plaquenil. It is also available in a generic version.

After a prescription from your doctor, you can buy Hydroxychloroquine from a licensed online pharmacy.

Working mechanism of Hydroxychloroquine

Hydroxychloroquine belongs to a class of drugs known as antimalarials and is also an antirheumatic medicine. This medication works in body by killing organisms that are responsible for causing malaria.

Hydroxychloroquine may work to treat rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus by reducing activity of immune system.

How Hydroxychloroquine is used?

Hydroxychloroquine is taken by mouth exactly in same way as prescribed by your doctor. To prevent problem of stomach upset, you can take Hydroxychloroquine with food or milk.

Swallow tablet as a whole without crushing, breaking, or chewing because it can taste bitter.

Based on your medical condition and response to treatment, doctor will determine right dosage and length of treatment.

While dosage of this medicine in children depends upon their weight. To prevent malaria, mainly once a week on same day every week. Follow your doctor’s direction for dosage.

You can also mark a calendar so that you remember to take it on same day each week.

Generally, this medicine is started 1 to 2 weeks before entering an area that is infected by malaria.

You must continue taking it weekly while staying in area and for 4 to 8 weeks after you leave that area.

To treat malaria condition, you must follow instructions of a doctor closely.

For treating lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, take Hydroxychloroquine tablet once or twice daily as suggested by doctor.

Depending upon your condition, doctor can also increase dosage of this medicine gradually.

Once you start taking this medicine for some time and your condition improves then doctor can lower dose of Hydroxychloroquine.

In this way, doctor will determine which dose is best for you with few or no side effects.

In case, you are taking certain drugs for treating diarrhea or having antacids then take Hydroxychloroquine at least 4 hours before or after.

Antacids or diarrhea medicines can bind with Hydroxychloroquine and prevent your body from completely absorbing it.

To get most benefit from this medication, make sure you take it on a regular basis as prescribed.

Do not stop taking Hydroxychloroquine tablets without discussing it with doctor, particularly when taking it for malaria.

Stopping treatment in between can cause infection to return or even worsen your condition sometimes.

This medicine can take several weeks or even months to offer benefits when taken for treating lupus or arthritis.

Missed dose

If you miss a dose then take it immediately when you remember. Do not take doses at same time.

You must skip missed dose if it is already time for your next prescribed dosage of Hydroxychloroquine.

Taking two doses of this medicine at same time can cause serious side effects which are difficult to manage.


If you have taken an overdose of Hydroxychloroquine tablet then stop it immediately and call your doctor.

What precautions and warnings you must follow?

Before starting your treatment with Hydroxychloroquine tablet, let your doctor know if you are allergic to it or have any allergies.

Inform doctor beforehand about your medical history, especially of:

  • A prolonged QT interval
  • Have or had heart failure
  • An irregular heartbeat
  • A heart attack
  • Any other heart ailments
  • Low level of magnesium or potassium in blood
  • Dermatitis
  • Psoriasis
  • Vision disorders
  • Seizures
  • Blood disorders or porphyria
  • G-6-PD deficiency

Doctors should know about all non-prescription and herbal supplements you take during treatment with Hydroxychloroquine.

Do not start having Cimetidine when taking Hydroxychloroquine tablets as it can worsen your condition.

You must know that Hydroxychloroquine can cause serious and potentially permanent eye disorders.

During your treatment with this medication, your doctor will conduct regular eye exams.

In case, you experience blurred vision, floaters in eye, flashes of light, or other changes then tell your doctor.

Sometimes treatment with Hydroxychloroquine tablets can also cause hypoglycemia. So, doctor will tell them to monitor blood sugar.

Side effects of Hydroxychloroquine

Like other medicines, Hydroxychloroquine can also cause some side effects. Though mild side effects can be managed.

Below stated are some common side effects of Hydroxychloroquine:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hair loss
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Hair color changes
  • Ringing in ears
  • Trouble in hearing
  • Hair loss

Serious side effects of Hydroxychloroquine tablet include:

  • Mood or mental changes
  • New or worsening depression
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Hives, rash, swelling of face, throat, tongue, lips or problem in breathing
  • Muscle weakness
  • Blisters on your skin, eyes, or lips
  • Cough, sore throat, runny nose, fever, or other signs of infection

Call your doctor straightway, if any of these side effects bother you or become worse.


Here are some drugs which interact with Hydroxychloroquine and should be avoided during treatment:

  • Cyclosporine
  • Rifampicin
  • Digoxin
  • Heart rhythm medicines
  • Ampicillin
  • Methotrexate


Medical professionals recommend storing Hydroxychloroquine at room temperature and away from sunlight & moisture.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I take alcohol during treatment with a Hydroxychloroquine tablet?

It is better to avoid alcohol because it damages liver which affects working mechanism of Hydroxychloroquine in your body.

Is it safe to take Hydroxychloroquine during pregnancy?

Doctors recommend avoiding Hydroxychloroquine during pregnancy as it can harm an unborn baby.

If you are pregnant or planning to be pregnant, discuss it with your doctor once.