Hydroxychloroquine: Medication Details


Hydroxychloroquine: Medication Details

What is Hydroxychloroquine?

Hydroxychloroquine, also known by its brand name Plaquenil, is a medication commonly used to treat or prevent certain types of malaria. It is also beneficial in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and porphyria cutanea tarda. During the global pandemic, hydroxychloroquine has been used by doctors to treat COVID-19 patients. However, clinical trials have shown that it is not an effective medicine for COVID-19 and can have dangerous side effects. It should not be used to treat lupus and rheumatoid arthritis in patients under 18 years old. Hydroxychloroquine can only be obtained with a proper prescription from a doctor.

What to know before taking hydroxychloroquine?

Prior to taking hydroxychloroquine, it is important to consider the following:

  • Avoid hydroxychloroquine if you are allergic to it or any of its components.
  • Inform your doctor about any history of vision problems, retinal damage caused by anti-malaria medication, heart disease, heart rhythm disorder (long QT syndrome), diabetes, stomach issues, allergies to quinine, liver infections, kidney disease, genetic enzyme deficiency (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency), alcohol addiction, porphyria, or psoriasis.
  • Lactating mothers should consult their doctor before taking this medication, and pregnant women should avoid it.
  • Inform your doctor about any other medications you are currently taking or have taken in the past few weeks.

How to take hydroxychloroquine?

It is important to take hydroxychloroquine exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all instructions on the prescription label and medication carefully. Do not take this medication more often than prescribed. Hydroxychloroquine tablets should be taken after a meal or with a glass of milk, unless advised otherwise by your doctor. If you have lupus or arthritis, your doctor may prescribe daily doses or once-a-week doses to reduce malaria symptoms or prevent malaria. If you do not feel recovered, consult your doctor. Regular medical tests and check-ups may be necessary while using this medication. Keep hydroxychloroquine out of reach of children.

Hydroxychloroquine dosage

  • Dosage for Malaria

For adults (18 years or above):

The initial dose is typically 800 mg, followed by 400 mg taken three times.

Hydroxychloroquine may be prescribed as a preventive measure or post-treatment medicine for malaria.

For children (below 18 years):

The dosage depends on the child’s body weight. The initial dose is usually 13 mg/kg (up to a maximum of 800 mg), followed by 6.5 mg/kg (up to a maximum of 400 mg).

Hydroxychloroquine may be prescribed as a preventive measure or post-treatment medicine for malaria.

  • Dosage for Lupus Erythematosus

For adults (18 years or above):

The recommended dosage is 200-400 mg per day, taken two or three times.

For children (below 18 years):

This medication should not be recommended for patients below 18 years of age.

  • Dosage for Rheumatoid Arthritis

For adults (18 years or above):

The recommended dosage is 400-600 mg per day, taken two or three times.

For children (below 18 years):

This medication should not be recommended for patients below 18 years of age.

Overdose

If you experience symptoms of hydroxychloroquine overdose, seek medical assistance immediately. You can contact the poison helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Overdose symptoms can be serious and potentially fatal. Symptoms may include drowsiness, dizziness, vision problems, weak pulse, seizures, rapid heartbeat, shallow breathing, faintness, and slow heart rate. It is important to closely monitor patients experiencing an overdose and seek medical attention promptly.

What to avoid while using hydroxychloroquine?</h

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