Plaquenil Warnings and Precautions
Since a number of medical conditions can be worsened with the use of Plaquenil, warnings and precautions for the medication should be discussed with your healthcare provider before treatment begins. Let your healthcare provider know if you have psoriasis, liver disease, alcoholism, or a G-6-PD deficiency before using Plaquenil. You should not take Plaquenil if you are allergic to any similar anti-malarial medications.
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Plaquenil® (hydroxychloroquine sulfate) if you have:
- Liver disease, such as liver failure, cirrhosis, or hepatitis
- G-6-PD (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase) deficiency
- Any other allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Some warnings and precautions to be aware of with Plaquenil include the following:
- Plaquenil can damage the retina of the eye. This can lead to blindness. This problem is most common when high doses are taken for a long time. If you will be taking Plaquenil for a while, it is recommended to have a thorough eye exam before starting it and every three months while taking it.
- Plaquenil may make psoriasis worse. In some situations for people with psoriasis, the benefits of Plaquenil may outweigh this risk.
- Children are extremely sensitive to this medication. Even small accidental overdoses can be lethal. Be sure to keep this medication out of reach of children. However, when dosed appropriately, Plaquenil can be used to prevent and treat malaria in children.
- You may need extra monitoring if you take Plaquenil and have liver disease, alcoholism, or a G-6-PD (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase) deficiency. Make sure your healthcare provider knows if you have such problems.
- If you take this medication long-term, your healthcare provider should periodically test your knee and ankle reflexes, in order to check for nerve or muscle problems.
- Plaquenil can interact with other medications (see Plaquenil Interactions).
- Plaquenil is usually considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using Plaquenil during pregnancy (see Plaquenil and Pregnancy for more information).
- Plaquenil passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about using Plaquenil (see Plaquenil and Breastfeeding for more information).