Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) and a related drug, chloroquine are two medications that have recently made headlines as possible treatments for coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Do these drugs really work against COVID-19? This is what we should know.
These medications have not yet been approved by any authority for this use. Do not use these medications to treat COVID-19 unless your doctor recommends that you do so.
What does hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine normally treat?
Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are often used to prevent or treat malaria. Both are available as pills taken by mouth. The dose varies depending on what the medicine is used for.
What is hydroxychloroquine?
Hydroxychloroquine is a prescription medication. It comes as an oral tablet.
The drug is available as the brand name drug Plaquenil. It is also available in a generic version. Generic drugs generally cost less than the brand name version. Hydroxychloroquine can be used as part of combination therapy. This means that you may need to take it with other drugs.
Hydroxychloroquine is good to treat rheumatoid arthritis. It is also used to prevent and treat malaria.
How does it work?
Hydroxychloroquine is an antimalarial agent. Treats malaria by killing the parasites that cause the disease.
What are the side effects of hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)?
Misusing of this drug can cause the following side effects.
- hair lightening or loss
- muscle pain
- stomach upset
- blurred vision
- heart disease
- ringing in your ears or hearing loss
- rapid swelling of your skin
- sore throat
- muscle weakness
Usage of hydroxychloroquine
Remember these considerations if your doctor prescribes hydroxychloroquine for you.
Take each tablet with a meal or a glass of milk. Take this medicine at the time recommended by your doctor. If you take this medicine at other times than prescribed, the level of the medicine in your body may increase or decrease.Also, if it increases, it may have more side effects. If dropped, the drug may lose its effectiveness.
Disclaimer: This post is to provide you with relevant and current information. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.