Posted 3/2/2015 11:53 PM (GMT -6)
Sure plaquenil is hydroxchloroquine (chemical compound). It is a mild base and that is primarily what it does in the body. It alkalizes your cells, this is helpful in lyme as lyme makes your cells more acidic. So it can help make lyme patients field better. As you mentioned it may also modulate the way the immune system functions as well. It can make antibiotics, in particular the macrolide class work much better in a more basic environment, these will work as much as 40% better when paired with plaquenil. Some claim that all intracellular antibiotics including tetracyclines (doxy, mino), macrolides, rifampin, quinolones, etc. It was shown in a study in Europe to be a mild cyst buster in lyme but in a US study had shown little effect on lyme cysts so it is not clear if it is for sure a cyst buster but could potentially be a mild one. It may interfere with some enzymes lyme makes.
Side effects are relatively few and it is a fairly mild drug when taken at the prescribed dose and not exceeding 400 mg per day. the only major side effect is possible eye damage as the drug may accumulate on the inside of the eye. This is usually reversible of the drug is discontinued and it is caught early. It is recommended to get eye exams every 6 months when on the drug. But it is actually rare for that to occur and with the dose of 400 mg, as long as that dose isn't exceeded the risk of the eye side effects is very minimal. That is the sweet spot for maximum benefit while minimizing the side effects.