Hydroxychloroquine (By mouth)
Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate (hye-drox-ee-KLOR-oh-kwin SUL-fate)
Prevents and treats malaria. Also treats lupus and arthritis. Also treats coronavirus (COVID-19) in certain hospitalized patients.
PlaquenilThere may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to hydroxychloroquine or similar medicines. This medicine may increase your risk of heart rhythm problems (including QT prolongation, ventricular fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia). Hydroxychloroquine should only be used for COVID-19 in a hospital or during clinical trials. Do not take any medicine that contains hydroxychloroquine unless prescribed by your doctor.
How to Use This Medicine:
- Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
- Swallow the tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it. It is best to take this medicine with food or milk.
- Take all of the medicine in your prescription to clear up your infection, even if you feel better after the first few doses.
- Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid:
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Some medicines can affect how hydrochloroquine works. Tell your doctor if you are using any of the following:
- Ampicillin, azithromycin, cimetidine, cyclosporine, digoxin, mefloquine, methotrexate, praziquantel, rifampicin, tamoxifen
- Medicine to treat diabetes, including insulin
- Medicine to treat heart rhythm problems
- Medicine to treat seizures
- Take antacids or kaolin at least 4 hours before or after taking this medicine.
- Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine:
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease, heart rhythm problems, diabetes, stomach or bowel problems, nerve problems, blood disorders (including G6PD deficiency, porphyria), psoriasis, or vision or eye problems. Tell your doctor if you drink alcohol.
- This medicine may cause the following problems:
- Changes in vision, eye damage
- Heart problems
- Changes in heart rhythm, including QT prolongation
- Muscle and nerve problem
- Changes in mood or behavior
- Low blood sugar levels
- Serious skin reactions, including Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), and acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis
- This medicine may make you bleed, bruise, or get infections more easily. Take precautions to prevent illness and injury. Wash your hands often.
- Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
- Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
- Blurred vision, hearing problems
- Dark urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain, yellow skin or eyes
- Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
- Increased hunger, headache, confusion, shaking, trembling, sweating
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting
- Muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- Unusual changes in mood or behavior, or thoughts of hurting yourself or others
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
Last Updated: 3/29/2022