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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 193
   Posted 4/8/2008 6:32 AM (GMT -6)   
I am interested to see if anyone here has gotten a rash from Plaquenil after being on it for several months. I have been getting these horrible rashes and they are not related to sun exposure. I am starting to wonder if they are related to Plaquenil. My doctor now wants me to start on Chloroquine instead of plaquenil. I've always been one to go for the natural route and am starting to feel like I should just stop taking everything and see what happens - so frustrating.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 2244
   Posted 4/8/2008 9:37 AM (GMT -6)   
I didn't get a rash from Plaq but I did itch like mad for a while. I know this is very frustrating but don't give up and I certainly don't stop taking your meds without talking to your doctor. It sometimes takes a while to find the right combo of meds but I do hope the Chloroquine will work better for you. Take care and keep us updated.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding ~ Proverbs 3:5 ~

DX: Hashimoto's, Celiac Disease, Raynaud's, Lupus and Sjogrens
RX: Imuran, Plaquenil, Methotrexate, Flexeril, Piroxicam, Levoxyl, Folic Acid, Lortab (as needed) and magic mouthwash (for mouth sores)

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 193
   Posted 4/8/2008 8:17 PM (GMT -6)   
I've actually been on the plaquenil for over a year. I am very suspicious that it is the culprit of my rashes. We'll see what happens with the chloroquine. Thanks

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 4/8/2008 8:33 PM (GMT -6)   
That's a real common side effect of Lupus is unexplained rashes. If you've ever had an allergic reaction to a drug then this is the type of reaction you'd have if you were allergic to the Plaquenil; and they'd stay until the Plaquenil was out of your system. If they're coming and going more than likely it isn't the Plaquenil. From what I understand it is very rare for someone to have an allergic reaction to the Plaquenil and when they do that isn't how it shows up. Hopefull it's not the Plaquenil because this drug is really a very good drug for Lupus.

I went through some paperwork I had about Plaquenil and am pasting it here for you to read.

Plaquenil has beneficial effects on 3 major aspects of lupus; skin rashes, aches & pains and fatigue. It has also been found to help in a number of other features of the disease, though less predictably. It is very effective in the treatment of a whole variety of lupus skin rashes, particularly those found to be worsened by sunlight. Thus it is widely used as first choice (or ‘first line’) treatment in lupus. As well as helping the skin itself, it is often helpful in treating hair loss in lupus. It helps the muscle & joint pains, though in cases where these are severe, its effects may be too mild. One of the most successful uses is in fatigue, many patients showing improvement after several weeks’ treatment.

How does Plaquenil work?
Surprisingly, the reason for its success in lupus still remains somewhat mysterious. It has a wide variety of known effects – aspirin-like anti-inflammatory, mild immunosuppressive and (mild) cholesterol lowering amongst others. Perhaps an important property is that of sun-protection. This may contribute to its success in treating many sun-sensitive rashes in lupus.

The normal dose of Plaquenil is 1 tablet a day (200mg/day). Some doctors recommend 2 a day (400mg/day) but we find that 1 a day suits most people – the dose can always be increased for a flare. One of the attractions of this medication is its long ‘half-life’ – it stays in the system for days & weeks. Thus many patients find they can gradually lower the dose – for example to 3 tablets a week – Monday, Wednesday & Friday.

For how long?
The answer is ‘for years’, if necessary. There are no firm rules about duration, though many lupus patients find they benefit by staying on a ‘long term – low dose regime’. An interesting study from Canada found that there were more flares of lupus if the drug was stopped, suggesting it was keeping the disease at bay.

Side effects
Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) is one of the safest drugs in medicine. Serious side effects are rare & routine blood tests are not required. Allergy (new skin rashes) is unusual but it means ruling our future use. Commoner, usually mild, side effects are indigestion, ‘gurgly tummy’, diarrhoea & headache. A rare, but important, side effect, usually on higher doses (2-3 tablets a day) is of ‘lazy eye’ – slight difficulty in focussing. Although harmless, it is important as it causes patients to worry about blindness – and needlessly stop the drug.

Good luck with the rashes, I hope that it isn't the Plaquenil!
SLE 9/07, Meniere's Disease 2/08, FMS '90's, Spinal Stenosis, Osteoarthritis, Sinus Tach, PVC's, Kidney Stones, RLS, Parotid Neurofibroma 8/04, Cervical Cancer 9/06
Plaquenil, Methotrexate, Mobic, Toprol XL, Prozac, Zyrtec-D, Zocor, Vitamins B6 & B12, Pepcid, Folic Acid, Calcium, Loratab ,Percoset, Toradol
There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.

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