starting hydroxychloroquine for unconfirmed lupus?

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2016
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/29/2016 2:50 AM (GMT -6)   
my rheumatologist has suggested that I start hydroxychloroquine although I don't yet meet the criteria for a lupus diagnosis. I do have some symptoms that might or might not be lupus related eg tiredness and joint pain (but they could easily be due to exercise and bad sleeping habits). she did say that my clinical symptoms aren't that consistent with lupus yet. blood tests have been normal except for previous episodes of mild leukopenia and ANA/ENA results:
- ANA positive > 1:800
- Anti-sm high positive
- Anti-RNP high positive
- Anti-SS-A high positive

based on the blood work she thinks it's likely to be lupus or evolve into lupus. I'm just wondering if it's premature to start treatment given the lack of other obvious symptoms? btw i do have occasional hives and eczema episodes and consistently weird ekg readings (peaked p wave) but echocardiograms are normal.

would love to hear different views, esp if you've had a similar experience!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1470
   Posted 1/29/2016 6:26 PM (GMT -6)   
hi! Welcome to Healing Well!! From the look of your labs, you definitely have something going on. I wouldn't dismiss the fatigue and joint pain just yet...maybe change your habits to a more routine sleeping schedule and cut back on exercise for a week or two to see if that helps the joint pain. If it continues you probably can rule out those two things that might be causing the fatigue and pain.

When do you see doctor again for labs? Did you discuss your concern for treating a not yet lupus diagnosis? I do know plaquenil has shown to help decrease serious organ involvement related to lupus and is usually the first drug used to control symptoms you may be having!

Personally, after seeing years of seeing what lupus can do, I would take it since your rhuemy thinks it will be helpful. It's totally your call and glad you are doing research on it!
Lupus Moderator

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7723
   Posted 1/29/2016 8:36 PM (GMT -6)   
One of the ways Drs get more data to help find the correct diagnosis is to see how your body and your symptoms react to certain medications such as hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil). Quite often Plaquenil is used before the final diagnosis is made -- note that it does often take 2-3 months to see any effects.
Lynnwood, Lupus & Sjogren's Moderator, Dx: 2002
"Life is far too important to be taken seriously." - Oscar Wilde
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