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Hydroxychloroquine sulfide is a medication that was first developed to treat and prevent acute malaria, but is now also prescribed to help with some forms of lupus or rheumatoid arthritis for patients whose symptoms have not responded to other medications. It's the generic of the brand name Plaquenil. Brand ... Read more

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Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate Information:

What is hydroxychloroquine sulfide?

Classified as an antimalarial drug, hydroxychloroquine sulfide is an antiprotozoal medication that treats or prevents illnesses caused by specific parasitic protozoa. It is specifically intended to treat malaria, but your doctor may prescribe it for either systematic or discoid lupus erythematosus as well as rheumatoid arthritis, usually when other medications have been unable to treat symptoms. There are other things your doctor may prescribe this medication for, so always follow your doctor's instructions explicitly.

Please note: hydroxychloroquine sulfide is only a cure for malaria and certain other protozoan-related diseases. It is not a cure for either lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, and is prescribe to alleviate symptoms.

How do I take hydroxychloroquine sulfide?

Hydroxychloroquine sulfide comes as a tablet you take by mouth either with milk or with food. How many pills you take and how often you take them is determined both by what the hydroxychloroquine sulfide is being prescribed to treat and by your doctor. Always follow your doctor's instructions explicitly, and do not take more or less than is prescribed.

Preventing malaria only requires 2 pills 1 time per week beginning the week before exposure and lasting for 2 months after. Those with rheumatoid arthritis may be prescribed 1, 2 or 3 pills taken 1 time daily. Treating lupus could mean a dose of as much as 2 pills 2 times daily.

Before taking hydroxychloroquine sulfide, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are currently breastfeeding, as it should not be taken during pregnancy and is harmful to small children.
  • You have psoriasis, dermatitis, or similar disorders, as this medication may exacerbate your condition.
  • You have a history of alcoholism, blood disorders (e.g., porphyria), G-6-PD deficiency, or kidney liver disease.
  • You have previously taken chloroquine-based medication and have experienced weak joints or changes in vision.
  • You have a central nervous system disorder.
  • You have any gastrointestinal disorders or problems.
  • You are taking any other prescription or non-prescription medications, supplements, or vitamins.
  • You plan to have a rabies vaccine.

What are the possible side effects of taking hydroxychloroquine sulfide?

Common side effects may include: change in hair color or hair loss; discoloration of fingernails, mouth, or skin; rash or itchiness; restlessness; headaches; slightly blurry vision, especially when trying to read; changes in appetite; stomach cramps; diarrhea or nausea and vomiting.

Some side effects are severe, and you should seek medical attention immediately. These include but are not limited to: significant changes in vision, ringing in your ears or loss of hearing, increased joint or muscle weakness, unusual tiredness, unusual bruising or bleeding, seizures or other convulsions, changes in mood or mental state, sore throat and fever.

What if I forget to take a dose of hydroxychloroquine sulfide?

Never take a double dose to make up for a missed dose. You may take your missed dose as soon as you remember it and maintain your normal dosing schedule, unless it is almost time for your next dose. In that case, skip the missed dose and stay on your normal dosing schedule.

How do I store hydroxychloroquine sulfide?

Keep your hydroxychloroquine sulfide in a closed container away from light and moisture, and do not store in places such as the bathroom or kitchen. Store your medication at room temperature, and keep away from heat or freezing temperatures.

Always keep your hydroxychloroquine sulfide out of the reach of children.

What happens if I overdose on hydroxychloroquine sulfide?

If you suspect an overdose, contact your local poison control center or seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms may include but are not limited to: mood changes or excessive excitability, slow or shallow breathing, fainting or other loss of consciousness, blurred vision. Please note: Children, and especially small children, are particularly susceptible to overdose, which may lead to death.


If this medication is prescribed to children, follow your doctor's instructions very carefully. Children can easily overdose on hydroxychloroquine sulfide, and may die from an overdose.

If you have been prescribed this medication to treat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and notice your symptoms are not improving or get worse within the first 6 months, call your doctor immediately. If you and your doctor have decided this medication is effective, then do not stop taking your medication unless told to do so by your doctor, or your symptoms will return.

If you are taking this medication in order to treat malaria that you already have, always take your complete schedule of doses, even if you feel better after a few days.

This medication is not a cure for lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. It is prescribed to alleviate symptoms in cases where other medications have not worked. It will likely take a few weeks of taking hydroxychloroquine sulfide before you notice results, and may take months to feel the full effects.

Brand Names

Plaquenil is the brand name antimalarial medication for the generic hydroxychloroquine sulfide. Don't miss out on savings of 75% off the price of hydrochloroquine sulfide at your local pharmacy - download or print our free coupon or discount card today!

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Our savings assurance of “up to 75% off” comes from historical data from actual claims. This data includes savings for both brand name and generic medications.