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Hydroxychloroquine is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, It is a disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs).
Unlike painkillers, DMARDs work in rheumatoid arthritis by suppressing the excessive activity of the immune system that causes the inflammation of the joints. This actually slows progression of the underlying disease. It is not fully understood how hydroxychloroquine works, but it reduces the inflammation in the joints and the associated swelling and pain . However, it doesn’t reverse any structural damage to the joints that has already occurred. DMARDs are used when painkillers called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs do not provide sufficient relief from the pain of the arthritis. However, unlike NSAIDs, they can take up to six months to produce their full effect, so they don’t provide immediate relief from the pain.
Common side effects may include:
headache, dizziness, ringing in your ears;
nausea, vomiting, stomach pain;
loss of appetite, weight loss;
mood changes, feeling nervous or irritable;
skin rash or itching; or.
hair loss.Plaquenil is contraindicated in: • patients with pre-existing maculopathy of the eye • Hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of the excipients listed in section 2. • in the presence of retinal or visual field changes attributable to any 4-aminoquinoline compound • long-term therapy in children • children under 6 years of age.
Plaquenil is indicated for the suppressive treatment and treatment of acute attacks of malaria due to Plasmodium vivax, p. malaria. p. ovale and susceptible strains of p. falciparum. It is also indicated for the treatment of discoid and systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis