Hydroxychloroquine tablets

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. Avoid taking antacids within 4 hours of taking this medicine. It is best to separate these medicines by at least 4 hours. Do not cut, crush or chew this medicine. You can take it with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Take all of your medicine as directed even if you think you are better. Do not skip doses or stop your medicine early.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

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

  • changes in vision

  • decreased hearing or ringing of the ears

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

  • seizures

  • sensitivity to light

  • signs and symptoms of a dangerous change in heartbeat or heart rhythm like chest pain; dizziness; fast or irregular heartbeat; palpitations; feeling faint or lightheaded, falls; breathing problems

  • signs and symptoms of liver injury like dark yellow or brown urine; general ill feeling or flu-like symptoms; light-colored stools; loss of appetite; nausea; right upper belly pain; unusually weak or tired; yellowing of the eyes or skin

  • signs and symptoms of low blood sugar such as feeling anxious; confusion; dizziness; increased hunger; unusually weak or tired; sweating; shakiness; cold; irritable; headache; blurred vision; fast heartbeat; loss of consciousness

  • uncontrollable head, mouth, neck, arm, or leg movements

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

  • anxious

  • diarrhea

  • dizziness

  • hair loss

  • headache

  • irritable

  • nausea, vomiting

  • loss of appetite

  • stomach pain

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:

  • cisapride

  • dofetilide

  • dronedarone

  • live virus vaccines

  • penicillamine

  • pimozide

  • thioridazine

  • ziprasidone

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • ampicillin

  • antacids

  • cimetidine

  • cyclosporine

  • digoxin

  • medicines for diabetes, like insulin, glipizide, glyburide

  • medicines for seizures like carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin

  • mefloquine

  • methotrexate

  • other medicines that prolong the QT interval (cause an abnormal heart rhythm)

  • praziquantel

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:

  • diabetes

  • eye disease, vision problems

  • G6PD deficiency

  • history of blood diseases

  • history of irregular heart beat

  • if you often drink alcohol

  • kidney disease

  • liver disease

  • porphyria

  • psoriasis

  • seizures

  • 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?

Tell your doctor or healthcare professional if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.

Avoid taking antacids within 4 hours of taking this medicine. It is best to separate these medicines by at least 4 hours.

Tell your doctor or health care professional right away if you have any change in your eyesight.

Your vision and blood may be tested before and during use of this medicine.

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.

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NOTE:This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider. Copyright© 2017 Elsevier