I've been on plaquenil for about a month now. The only side effects I've had so far has been mild abdominal cramping (nothing like what you would experience with IBD, though). That seems to have gone away now--only lasted the first couple of weeks. I understand it takes a long time for plaquenil for work, but overall it's a fairly good drug. It's the least toxic of all the dmards. I'd rather be on plaquenil than some other drugs, like methotrexate or immuran.
People I've talked to who have been on this drug for a long time (try the lupus forum) have told that plaquenil is wonderful for joint pains once it kicks in. I'm hoping to stop the enbrel once plaquenil kicks in.
Best of luck to you,
Diagnosis: Suspected Lupus 2004; Raynauds 2006; Sjogren's 2006; CFS 1991; Mono 1985
Meds: Plaquenil 400mg; Tramadol 100mg 3-4x daily; Amitriptyline 10mg; Neurontin 200mg; Steriod Cream and Mouth Rinse for tongue and mouth ulcers; Hydrocodone 5/500 prn for severe pain
I've been on it for one year now....I am getting terrific results from it. Not as much of a 'miracle' drug as Remicade was before I started reacting to it, but, still better than I ever expected. I'm very happy with it so far.
I had some belly aches the for about a week or so, after that, I've been fine. If I have to stop taking it for a while for whatever reason, I get the stomach problems again when I start back up (and they go away again.)
Good luck. **
The opthamologist I saw a few months ago said he's never seen anyone w/eye problems from the plaquinil. He said "the dosages that they give nowadays...." - making me think they saw problems with much higher amounts a long time ago. I take 200 mg twice a day and he thought that was low.
i can't recall how long I was on it before I realized I was getting results from plaquenil. I do know it helps now and I've been on it for a year. Not much has helped me in the past, remicade and azulphidine are so far the other other 2 meds I actually had noticable results from in addition to plaquenil.
I've been been on Plaquenil for about 5 months and it has turned my life around! It took about 3-4 months before I really noticed a big change. Early on, I had some nausea, abdominal discomfort. I still have bad gas, but I read that this is typical. So, if you can deal with the side effects, there is hope!
My lupus is mild, so that may be why it works for me. I actually have energy again and can work as normal. My joint pains aren't totally gone, but much, much better!
I hope you do well.