Starting Plaquenil....scared!

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mcgraw87
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 1/20/2011 2:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey everyone...I'm usually over in the fibromyalgia forum but my doc is hovering around the lupus diagnosis (the lupus dance of the doctors as I'm sure you all know so well). Anywho...my rheumatologist has me starting Plaquenil tomorrow and I'm nervous! I'm always scared to take new medications because I'm nervous about how they'll mix with my current medications and how the side effects will affect me. She's only starting me on 200 mg a day, because I've lost so much weight, so I guess it's good it's a lower dose. Right now I'm on Prednisone (20 mg), Lyrica (400 mg) and Topamax (100 mg).

Any advice about starting Plaquenil, what I can expect, anything to help with side effects? shakehead
Thank you! tongue
Fibromyalgia, Epilepsy, Celiac Disease, possible Lupus (SLE).
Topamax, Lyrica, Plaquenil, Klonopin

If you aren't in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?
T.S. Eliot

What doesn't kill you makes you funnier.

Louisiania
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 1/20/2011 8:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Heya
I understand why you'd be a bit concerned considering how many meds you on currently. I am taking planequil and have been doing for about 9 months, and to be honest as its such a slow working drug I'd be suprised if you felt anything good or bad immediatley. Considering your Dr has put you  onto this immunosuppressant drug looks like your more likely to be joing us in the dark side :) You have to remember that planequil will take realisticaly at least 6months to get into your system, so don't think of it as a really big situation, you start taking it now and then feel it in six months.
I truly hope this helps, and stop worrying :)
Louise

Lynnwood
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7720
   Posted 1/20/2011 11:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Plaquenil is not an immune suppressant. Here is a good explanation I found of what it does and what little they know about how it works.

Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) is a one of a number of drugs which have been used for many years in the treatment of malaria. Fortunately, it was discovered these drugs often are helpful in the treatment of various rheumatic diseases, particularly systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or "Lupus") and rheumatoid arthritis. Although chloroquine is sometimes used, the preferred antimalarial drug is hydroxychloroquine due to its greater safety. These drugs are not painkillers.

What Does Plaquenil Do?

It is not possible at the present time to explain precisely why hydroxychloroquine is effective in various rheumatic diseases. When effective, it can decrease damage to the tissues of the joints, skin and other organs in the body.

Hope you feel better soon,
Lynnwood, Lupus & Sjogren's Moderator
"Life is far too important to be taken seriously" - Oscar Wilde

jhmom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 2244
   Posted 1/21/2011 9:05 PM (GMT -6)   
It's also one of the safest meds to treat Lupus with the least side effects. I started out slowly too, 1/2 tab every other day and worked my way up to the full dose of 2 tabs a day within a month or so. You do need to have your eyes checked and have a visual field test before you start it and have them checked 1 to 2 times a year.

I hope you tolerate it well! Take care

aylish
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/22/2011 2:52 AM (GMT -6)   
I've been on 2 plaquenil a day for about a year now and haven't had any side effects at all.  It's made a big difference to my symptoms-I have lupus and rheumatoid arthritis-hope it does the same for you.

firebabe
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 206
   Posted 1/22/2011 6:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Plaquenil was my dr.'s drug of choice to treat me initially with my Lupus.  However, I was allergic to it.  If you have an upset stomach-stop taking it, before it turns into a painful rash all over your body.  I wish someone had warned me about that.  I do have to say though that my rheumy said it's not very often that a person has a reaction from this drug.  I hope it works for you.

jeanneac
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 1914
   Posted 1/24/2011 9:17 AM (GMT -6)   
I've been on it for 3 weeks now and I am fine with it. I have a very sensitive stomach. My doctor told me I should start to feel better in 6 weeks. I am hoping it won't be 6 months. I have a positive ANA but they haven't said I have lupus yet. They dont' know what I have, perhaps a mixed connective tissue disease or overlap syndrome. Good luck. They say it is a very safe drug but take it on a full stomach with a big meal.
d 1/09 with colitis sigmoid colon with some diverticular disease as well, IBS, Colon resection Nov. 2010, now in remission
inflammator arthritis, asthma, skin scleroderma, VSL#3 probiotic, Vit. D, nexium, pexeva (paxil), synthroid, cozar, advair, plaquenil, prednisone sometimes
Blood test positive for Crohn's via prometheus ibd serology panel ASCA. Positive ANA speckled pattern

slm6
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 1/25/2011 5:37 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been on it for over a month now. Some upset stomach and bloating the first few weeks. A little embarrassing.. (gas). It is fine now.. I found a tablespoon of vinegar or vingar pills worked wonders.. Sounds nasty but it did the job! Anyways.. My RA said not to expect much for at least 3 months. So far he's been right. Hope it works out for all of us!
SLE Lupus, Epilepsy, Spinal Stenosis
Plaquenil, Keppra, Medrol, Vicoden, VitaminD/Calcium, Ambiem

Make the best of every day.. You never know what tomorrow will bring you!

mcgraw87
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 1/26/2011 3:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you everyone! So far no problems with it....fingers crossed! :)
Fibromyalgia, Epilepsy, Celiac Disease, possible Lupus (SLE).
Topamax, Lyrica, Plaquenil, Klonopin

If you aren't in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?
T.S. Eliot

What doesn't kill you makes you funnier.

Louisiania
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 1/28/2011 2:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Good Luck McGraw.
I have my fingers crossed for you
Louise

Robyn10217
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 2/3/2011 9:56 PM (GMT -6)   
it worked great for 5 years but they took me off within the last few months due to side effects... I think its a great medicine... but for me, it seems like every side effect finds me... lol
Lupus, RA,Sjorgrens,antiphospholipid syndrome,Endocarditis & Pericarditis,Migranes

Imuran,Coumadin,Topamax,colchincine,Tramadol when needed, Prednisone

Hickoryone
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 2/4/2011 8:42 AM (GMT -6)   
What's important is recognizing that not all medications used to treat Lupus will be beneficial to you and no two people will react the same to any drug.

Your system, if you have SLE is different now....therefore things you could take before with no side-effects can now have side-effects.

I'm on the anti-malarials and they did give me headaches, eye pain, etc., and they take about 2 months, not 6, to work.

I seem to be fine on them now.....but who can say from one day to the next if it's Lupus or side-effect? Another problem with Lupus.....

Hickoryone
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 2/4/2011 8:43 AM (GMT -6)   
I failed to mention in my post.....Fibro, RA, etc., can exist with Lupus. It is not impossible, actually quite common, to have two diseases co-existing.

aimsgirl16
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1470
   Posted 2/5/2011 9:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Actually, plaquenil can take up to 6 months to work...as you said...everyone's body responds differently to medications now.Some people can feel benefits in as little to a week and some could take a full 6 months!! I would urge anyone to try and keep taking the plaquenil (as I am sure most docs would) cause it has been proven people taking plaqunil have a less chance of the lupus attacking internal organs!!

I was on it for 8 months, they wanted to make sure and give it plenty of time to work. After 8 months of no change and stomach issues, they took me off of it and we tried many other things until we found the right medicine cocktail!!
Amy
Kidney Diseases & Disorders and Lupus Moderater
Cyclosporine, Prednisone, Lisinopril, Mobic, Vitamin D 50,000 units
PRN: Imitrex, hydrocodone, Ambien, Flexeril, Ultram,

If God brings you to it, he will get you through it!!

robins49
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/10/2011 11:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi All,

I've been on Plaquenil for 6+ years. The last 2 years, I've been taking 3 x 200mg/day. When I drop back down to 2 x 200mg, my symptoms of charlie-horse like pain in my arms and legs comes back. I suffer no side effects, that I'm aware of, and I take 1 x 200mg of Celebrex, and 5 microns of Synthroid. I'm dx as UCTD - connective tissue disorder, and have some symptoms of RA and Lupus, but that comes and goes. I do not have a problem in the sun...yet... I also take Fish oil, selenium, B complex, C,D,E, 80mg aspirin, milk thistle and Zyflamend (a mixture of anti-inflammatory herbs).

Take care and good luck!
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