gluten free hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)?

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lucysgd
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 669
   Posted 10/24/2009 3:28 PM (GMT -7)   
This is probably a shot in the dark, but here goes.  I've been on a gluten free diet since the end of August, and have been very careful with the food I eat.  At the same time I started the diet, my pharmacy switched manufacturers of the hydroxychloroquine (generic Plaquenil) I've been taking.  Supposed to be an identical product.
 
 The problem is that my stomach has been giving me way more problems since starting both the GF diet and the new Plaq, which, like I said, happened at the same time.   I have been blaming the added supplements I've been told to take by my doctor to counteract the malabsorption problems stemming from the CD.  But I've had a flare even when off the supplements - so I'm confused.  Has anyone else had a problem with gluten and the generic plaquenil?  Or know a good site where I could find current information?  confused
I have called the manufacturer of the new Rx and they just say that "their suppliers don't intentionally use wheat, etc" - I think it must be a standard phrase - but they will not say it is Gluten free.    These flares are driving me crazy - seem to happen about once every 7-10 days - almost cyclically - and knock me out for a couple days with stomach problems, headache, fatigue, and just all around malaise.  mad
Thanks in advance for any help or info......
Lucy
diagnoses:  mono 1972; postviral CFS 1997; fibro 1998; UCTD & osteoporosis 2007; celiac 2009
meds: Plaquenil 400 mg, occasional low dose xanax for sleep aid, artificial tears w/ ointment at night, Advil/aspirin prn and lots of vitamins
 
 


Jenkstrojanmom
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 10/25/2009 11:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Lucysgd I had a similar problem although I am not on a gluten free diet,when the switch happened it sent me into a flare that was not like otheres and it happened like once every two weeks like clock work. I would be out of it for a couple of days and becak to normal for a short time. I never thought to call the manufacture I did call Walmart and ask why they switched my pills to which they explained its just the shape that is different. I hope you find some relief soon,it took about 5 rounds of flares before it stopped.
 
JenksTrojanMom
Lupus,Sjogrens Syndrome,R.A.
Mother of one wonderful teenage son,blessed wife
33 yr old  Teacher Assistant in Okla.


jhmom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 2244
   Posted 10/25/2009 12:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Lucy, I am sorry you are having these problems.

I have heard some people have a hard time with the generic plaq (nothing to do with gluten free diet tho), maybe trying the brand name for a month and see if you continue to have the same problems. I've been on a gluten free diet since 9/03 and on Plaq (generic) since 3/04 with no problems.

It is also very possible that when your lupus is flaring it may affect your GI tract. Also, do you eat a lot of dairy? I have noticed if I am in a lupus flare and my gut isn't right and I eat dairy, it's almost like I've eaten gluten.

Here is a list of gluten free meds but I don't think it has generics on it.

www.glutenfreedrugs.com/

I hope you can find some relief soon! :-)
Stacie
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding ~ Proverbs 3:5 ~

DX: Lupus, Sjogrens, Raynaud's, Hashimoto's and Celiac Disease
RX: Imuran, Plaquenil, Methotrexate, Flexeril, Piroxicam, Levoxyl, Folic Acid, Folgard OS (B12), Vitamin D-50,000 IU, Tramadol (as needed) and magic mouthwash (for mouth sores)


lucysgd
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 669
   Posted 10/25/2009 4:06 PM (GMT -7)   

Thanks so much, Jenks and Stacie!

  Jenks - it's funny you mentioned the shape change, because the first Rx I was on was a round tablet and then it was changed to an elongated capsule shape.  It's so helpful to know you were having the cyclical flares - it's very odd, but at least I know I'm not totally crazy.  Staci, I think I will switch to the brand name for a month and see what happens, even though I wasn't having any trouble with the first generic.   Im also going to change to gluten free shampoo and soap, toothpaste etc, which I hadn't done yet.   Thanks for the link, too.  I have been eating more dairy than I used to since going gluten free.  That's another possibility.  Just one puzzle after another yeah

Lucy


diagnoses:  mono 1972; postviral CFS 1997; fibro 1998; UCTD & osteoporosis 2007; celiac 2009
meds: Plaquenil 400 mg, occasional low dose xanax for sleep aid, artificial tears w/ ointment at night, Advil/aspirin prn and lots of vitamins
 
 


lucysgd
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 669
   Posted 11/18/2009 9:44 PM (GMT -7)   

After sifting through all the possibilities - and then finally stopping the generic Plaquenil for a week, and restarting with brand name Plaquenil - my stomach problems vanished.  So it appears that the pharmacy's switch to a different manufacturer of my generic plaquenil was the culprit afterall. 

Unfortunately, it now costs me an extra 30 bucks a month.  Both my rheumy and GP have said that when the pharmacy says the products are "identical" it's not literally true - that maybe the main ingredient is identical, but the fillers, binders, etc. are not - and they have many patients who have no trouble with one supplier, but can't take another manufacturer's.   I'm still not sure whether the issue was gluten, and would have occurred with either of the generic manufacturer's (Brand Plaquenil is gluten free).....or something altogether different.  Just glad to have my stomach back to normal. 

Just thought I'd post in case others have similar problems.

Lucy  


diagnoses:  mono 1972; postviral CFS 1997; fibro 1998; UCTD & osteoporosis 2007; celiac 2009
meds: Plaquenil 400 mg, occasional low dose xanax for sleep aid, artificial tears w/ ointment at night, Advil/aspirin prn and lots of vitamins
 
 


jhmom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 2244
   Posted 11/19/2009 4:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Lucy,

I am so happy you found the culprit! Now, maybe you will start feeling a lot better! Take care and keep us posted on how you are feeling.
Stacie
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding ~ Proverbs 3:5 ~

DX: Lupus, Sjogrens, Raynaud's, Hashimoto's and Celiac Disease
RX: Imuran, Plaquenil, Methotrexate, Flexeril, Piroxicam, Levoxyl, Folic Acid, Folgard OS (B12), Vitamin D-50,000 IU, Tramadol (as needed) and magic mouthwash (for mouth sores)

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