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Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate Oral tablet

What is this medicine?

HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE (hye drox ee KLOR oh kwin) is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. It is also used to treat malaria.

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. If this medicine upsets your stomach take it with food or milk. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue

  • change in vision

  • fever, infection

  • hearing loss or ringing

  • muscle weakness, tremor, or numbness

  • redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth

  • seizures

  • unusual bleeding or bruising

  • unusually weak or tired

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • change in coloration of the mouth or skin

  • dizziness

  • hair loss, lightening

  • headache

  • irritability, nervousness, nightmares

  • loss of appetite

  • stomach upset, diarrhea

What may interact with this medicine?

  • antacids

  • botulinum toxins

  • digoxin

  • kaolin

  • penicillamine

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children. In children, this medicine can cause overdose with small doses.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Protect from moisture and light. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • alcoholism

  • anemia or other blood disorder

  • eye disease

  • glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency

  • liver disease

  • porphyria

  • psoriasis

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular check ups. Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve. Arthritis symptoms may take several weeks to improve. If you are taking this medicine for a long time, you will need important blood work done. You will also need to have your eyes checked as directed.

This medicine can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.

Avoid antacids and kaolin containing products for 2 hours before and after taking a dose of this medicine.

Online Medical Reviewer: Louise Akin, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith, RN, MSN, FNP, CCRC
Last Review Date: 5/1/2009
© 2000-2014 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.