I have been taking Plaquenil (400 mg per day) for about 2 years now due to lupus flare. When i first started it, I was also started on prednisone to get my inflammation under control. Actually I started on 200 mg per day and about 2 months before tapering off pred, he upped me to 400 mg per day of plaquenil to give it plenty of time to kick in. I was told it helps to minimize the progression of the arthritis and helps to lessen flare ups. It also helps with rashes & i've noticed mine hasn't been so bad. Also, though it could just be coincidence for myself, it seems since I've been on it...i've not had trouble with cut healing and had less infections (cold, no flus, hardly any sinus infections). It can affect the eyes if taken long term but so far, I've had no problems. I also noticed my flare-ups havent been as bad as they were & lasted much less time.(except every time I tapered the pred, I flared up, but only about 2 weeks maximum). I also havent had excessive hair loss this whole time. I have thought before if it really does anything or not..but I'm scared to think of what might happen if or when I do stop taking it <eeeks>.
I love plaquenil too and just hit the sixth month mark (400mg a day). It took about 3 months for me to notice anything, but seems to get better and better the longer I'm on it. Still getting the flares, but they don't seem to be as severe as they were now. I hope you find some relief.
I've been on it for about 19 months now - 200mg 2xa day. For me, it has been awesome and one of the few drugs that actually helps! about a year ago (8 months in) I wasn't convinced it was the plaquenil that was helping (thought maybe I was sans-flare), so, I stopped taking it to test it out. Sure enough, I started having problems. I tried it again another 6 months later and once due to the stomach flu. Both times resulted in a painful flare. I can handle 1/2 dose for a few day if necessary, but can't let that go too long. No dose, less than a week I'm regretting it.
Don't know if I'd marry Plaquenil like Dave (you're too funny!), but I'd be literally devastated if I ever have to stop taking it or it stopped working. Hmmm, maybe I would marry it....not sure my husband would like that though...sharing a bed with a giant pill bottle.
My rhuemy told me yesterday that they don't Rx Plaquenil as much because it doesn't seem to work as well for many people. He was quite impressed at how well it works for me....I wonder if his experience is with people who don't recognize the subtlty of what it is doing for them.
I found it strange, since there does seem to be quite a few people here who it works for on HW.
Well, I guess you are right....as rotten as I feel, I can rest assured I don't have malaria!
I have been off of plaquenil successfully for the past 6 months or so. I don't even miss it. I guess I was right when I felt it wasn't really doing anything for me. Rheumy, when he put me on it, did say it was one of the milder DMARDs, but his lupus patients all take it. I don't have lupus, but my arthritis is distinctly lupus-like. But since enbrel and mtx, I have had few problems.
Oh well, I guess I need to worry about getting malaria now :)