Sorry to hear that you have discoid lupus and it's affecting you so badly. Plaquenil like Patty said can take anywhere from 2 to 6 months actually before you start to see improvement from the medication. You've only been on it 6 weeks, I'd wait for awhile longer and see if you improve.
I do not have discoid lupus but only SLE, I do know that taking prednisone has made a huge difference for me in the treatment of my lupus goes. Yes, steroids cause very serious side effects from them. I probably have every single horrible side affect that can be caused from prednisone. If I didn't take the stuff though I'd be dead and in urn on the mantel at our house by now.
Not knowing much about discoid lupus, I'm not sure if the steroids would help you or not, but you could ask your Doctor and see. Let us know what you find out and what your Doctor decides to do for you to help you.
DX- RA, Lupus, Fibro, LGL Leukemia, Obstructive & Central Sleep Apnea, Pulmonary Hypertension, Bells Palsy, Gastroparsis, Blood Clots, Glaucoma, Chronic Pericarditis & Pleurisy, Severe Anemia. Way to many medications to list.