Is extreme fatigue a side effect of Plaquenil?

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 5/25/2010 4:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone, I am wondering if anyone has had a problem with fatigue while on Plaquenil. I have been on it for about 3 months now. At first, I was nauseous for a week or so, which the dr. told me could be a side effect. After the nausea went away it seemed like my pain got worse for a week or so, and then it gradually got better. I'm not completely pain free, but it's a lot better than it was.
  It just seems like the fatigue is worse than it has ever been, and it doesn't seem to matter if I go to bed early or take a nap during the day. I don't know if this is just the way RA is, or if it is a side effect of the medicine. I wake up tired in the morning, get my kids fed and off to the schoolbus, and some days that's all I can do until it's time to go pick them up and make dinner, then I collapse after the kids are put to bed. If I can manage to load the dishwasher or do a load or 2 of laundry it's a minor miracle.
  Then about 3 weeks ago I started feeling nauseous again. I honestly thought I was pregnant! I figure it was maybe my body adjusting the the Plaquenil again. I have an appointment with my rheumy this friday so I am going to ask her lots of questions, but I  thought I would throw this out to y'all.
  So anyone else have issues with extreme fatigue from Plaquenil?
Diagnoses: Depression/Anxiety, PTSD, Hypothyroidsim, High Blood Pressure, Fibromyalgia, Raynaud's, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Sjogren's
Meds: Celexa (once a day), Buspar (2x a day), Levoxyl (once a day), Metoprolol (once a day), Lyrica (3x a day), Plaquenil (2 times day), Clonazepam to help me sleep for the moment until I find something else.
Allergic to: Sulfa, Ceftin, Augmentin, and Synthroid (probably the filler).

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 5/25/2010 5:47 PM (GMT -7)   
For me, plaquenil is the only thing that has ever got rid of the fatigue. However, I would not rule it out as a side effect we all react differently.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 72
   Posted 5/26/2010 7:18 AM (GMT -7)   
When I first started Plaquenil I broke out in a rash. The doctor had me stay on it and take some prednisone to get it under control. It worked. I never noticed any more fatigue from the Plaquenil. However, I can totally relate to the fatigue and getting your kids off to school and not being able to do much else. I went through that as well. A year later I have more energy and am taking many more drugs to treat this RA. When I would talk to my doctor about the fatigue he said that once we get the inflammation under control you won't be as tired. He was right! I'm still tired but not like before. I'm off the couch most of the time! Good luck.


New Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/30/2010 5:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi! I think Plaquenil is the cause of my extreme fatigue too. I am not anemic at this time and I get exhausted just trying to get through the day. I have also been on Plaquenil about three months. All of my arthritis swelling and pain are gone, but the fatigue will not let up! Hope things change for you.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 416
   Posted 8/3/2010 6:00 PM (GMT -7)   
confused  Sorry I'm not on that med. As it is I haven't been diag. yet with RA. I believe it is what I have or some sort of Arthritis along that line. For now just dx with Fibro. I however can completely relate to the sympt. of overexhaustion. Yesterday, I got the kids to the bus,barely. Took a nap. Woke up and cleaned the kitchen an hour later(my kitchen is a galley kitchen 8 ft no time) Took a nap. Wasn't going to eat luch because I would have to move to do husband bought out. I ate, wiped off the kitchen table, napped. Kids came home, helped with homewrok, made dinner..picked up couch(because my blanket and pillow were there) Went to bed at 9. Woke at 6 this morning exhausted. Did a little more today, but not much. I think it is part of whatever. I hope you can bring it up to your dr. and that they can help. Feel better soon...housework will always smilewinkgrin be there. Take care Heather

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2014
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 7/26/2015 2:51 PM (GMT -7)   
I just noticed this thread. I am on my 3rd day of plaquenil & I'm exhausted. I slept 1/2 the day today!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 1879
   Posted 7/26/2015 4:25 PM (GMT -7)   
I've never heard of anyone having fatigue from plaquenil since I've been on these forums. Usually, auto immune diseases and the conditions that go with them such as anemia and vitamin deficiencies cause the fatigue. I feel your pain though. I have horrible fatigue and still struggle with it. I am taking vitamins. Sometimes because of the pain, we don't sleep well. Just a thought. I hope your Dr. has an answer and help for you.
Sjogrens syndrome 2/15 via lip biopsy: ? RA, fibromyalgia
colitis-resection 11/10, hashimoto's thyroiditis, type 2 diabetes, morphea, GERD
Meds: plaquenil, synthroid, metformin, nexium, restasis, estrogen patch, prometrium, VSL #3, evening primrose oil, alpha lipoic acid.

Aunt Nancy
New Member

Date Joined Feb 2015
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 7/27/2015 3:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Plaquenil messed with my mood and caused (or exacerbated) depression. I could not take it.

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2015
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/27/2015 6:17 AM (GMT -7)   
I've been on Plaquenil 200mg 2 x day for 6 days and I am so tired. Slept 11 hours last night and I am still tired. Diagnosed with Psoriatic or Rheumitoid Arthritis (Dr. not sure yet.) I didn't have significant fatigue previously, so I assume it's the medicine. I also had a steriod shot in swollen joint, but I don't think that would cause fatique. I am also bothered with stomach cramps and mild diarrhea.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 2470
   Posted 7/27/2015 5:51 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been on plaquenil since mid June
I have had a lot of stress in my life so I can't determine what is causing what.
Early on I did get those stomach cramps and diarrhea. Still have diarrhea.
I am very tired too.
Not seeing any improvements with pain but I just went to 0 prednisone 3 weeks ago.
Dr. said give it a few months and if I don't see any improvement I might as well go off of it.
All my pain is tolerable and he sees no deformities so he says he doesn't see RA activity.
I was the same on MTX
Whatever. Just because the pain is tolerable doesn't make me like it any better. I happen to tolerate pain well.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 280
   Posted 11/5/2015 6:44 AM (GMT -7)   
hey just saw this post. Wanted to let you know that I was on plaquenil for about three years and I told my RA doctor that my fatigue was worse. He did a plaquenil test and sure enough it was low. I am now on three a day and I feel wonderful ..... more energy than I have had in years. You may want to mention this to your doctor...
Hope you have a wonderful pain free day.
Rhuematoid Arthritis, degenerative joints, herniated disc's in back and neck. Changed from Cimzia to Orencia injections now off Orencia started Rituxan infusion as of May 2014, Plaquenil 400 mg daily, 20 mg. prednisone, hydrocodone for pain. And like most of you I fight with fatigue regularly...
New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Tuesday, November 21, 2017 2:29 PM (GMT -7)
There are a total of 2,896,406 posts in 317,901 threads.
View Active Threads

Who's Online
This forum has 157485 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, Annelisecrumb.
499 Guest(s), 16 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
Kirky98, Inderjit Singh Madahar, PeppermintTea, Pirouette, hammer8, FoxRun, Scaredy Cat, Dogdays, yancync, Annelisecrumb, NicolaTE, HopeNheal, TroubledTurds, FLBeachgal, rweintra, three 5's and a jack

About Us | Advertise | Donate
Newsletter | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer
Follow on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Pinterest
©1996-2017 LLC  All Rights Reserved.