How It Works:

Hydroxychloroquine belongs to a class of antimalarial drugs. It works via multiple mechanisms that include interfering with enzyme activities, inhibition of messenger chemicals (prostaglandins, interleukin-1, and neutrophil superoxide), inhibition of cellular activity (inhibition of polymorphonuclear cell chemotaxis and phagocytosis) that cause inflammation.

Side Effects:

hearing loss, intolerance to light, nausea, muscular disorder related to nerve damage leading to weakness and muscle wasting or decrease in muscle size, skin sensitivity to sunlight, abnormal color vision, allergic skin reactions., abdominal pain, abnormal blood counts, vomiting, constantly changing emotions, muscular disorder, sensation of spinning, blurred distance vision, disorder of heart muscle, loose motions, light flashes and streaks, lightening of hair color, drug induced abnormal mental condition in which a person gets thoughts that are not real and fits, ringing in ears, color changes in skin and mucus membranes, loss of appetite, skin and hair loss, dizziness, Itching, hair loss, Eye problems including reading and seeing difficulties, anemia, headache, nervousness, severe skin reactions, widespread scaling and peeling of the skin associated with itching, missing or blacked out areas in the central or peripheral visual field

Used For:

  • Hydroxycholoroquine is used in the suppression and treatment of acute attacks (severe and sudden onset) of malaria. It is also used for the treatment of certain autoimmune diseases.


Do consult your doctor before taking hydroxychloroquine:
  • If you have severe stomach and intestinal problems.
  • If you have neurological problems (disorders of the nervous system that may affect your memory, senses or mood).
  • If you are aged above 65 years.
  • If you consume alcohol daily or frequently.
Hydroxychloroquine can cause severe lowering of blood glucose level that can lead to loss of consciousness and can be life-threatening to all patients. Please discuss with your doctor the symptoms of very low blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia) whether or not you take antidiabetic medications.Do not take hydroxychloroquine, if you have currently or a history of maculopathy or retinopathy (damage to tiny blood vessels in the retina of your eye that severely affects your vision). Stop taking hydroxycholoroquine, if you notice any disturbance in vision, abnormal color vision, black spots or haziness. If detected early, the damage may be reversible upon discontinuation of hydroxycholoroquine.Do consult your doctor before taking hydroxychloroquine, if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant or  breastfeeding.Each dose of hydroxychloroquine should be taken with food or a glass of milk.Long-term use of hydroxychloroquine is not recommended in children.

Frequently Ask Questions:

Q. Is hydroxychloroquine safe?Yes. Hydroxychloroquine is safe if used at prescribed doses for the prescribed duration as advised by your doctor.
Q. Is hydroxychloroquine an antibiotic?Hydroxychloroquine is an antimalarial which is active against malaria causing protozoa (parasite) Plasmodium vivax, P. malariae, P. ovale, and susceptible strains of P. falciparum.
Q. Is hydroxychloroquine an immunosuppressant/ blood thinner /sulfa drug/pain killer/ steroid/ NSAID/ narcotic/ quinine?Hydroxychloroquine is an antimalarial drug also used for the treatment of lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. It has no known effect on weakening the body’s immune system or changing the fluidity of blood. Hydroxychloroquine does not have any effect in reducing pain or inflammation and is not a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). The chemical structure and mechanism of action of hydroxychloroquine is different from sulfa drugs. It does not have a structure or effect similar to steroids. Hydroxychloroquine is not addictive and does not cause drowsiness or relieve pain. Hydroxycholoroquine is structurally similar to quinine (chemically both drugs are 4-aminoquinolones).
Q. Is hydroxychloroquine the same as plaquenil?Yes. Plaquenil is a trade name for active drug hydroxychloroquine.
Q. Can I take hydroxychloroquine with phentermine /ibuprofen / Tylenol /naproxen/Advil /paracetamol /tramadol /diclofenac?Hydroxychloroquine has no known serious interaction with phentermine, ibuprofen (trade name: Advil), paracetamol (trade name: Tylenol), naproxen, tramadol or diclofenac. Please inform your doctor about all the medication you are currently taking to avoid interactions that may reduce effectiveness of any treatment or aggravate side effects.
Q. Can I take hydroxychloroquine with vitamins?Hydroxychloroquine has no known serious side effect with vitamins. However, avoid vitamin supplements that contain magnesium, aluminum, or calcium (eg. Vitamin D and calcium supplements) since these are known to reduce the blood levels of hydroxychloroquine. Please inform your doctor about all the medication (including vitamins and herbal supplements) you are currently taking to avoid interactions that may reduce effectiveness of any treatment or aggravate side effects.
Q. Can I take antihistamines with hydroxychloroquine?Most antihistamines do not have any known serious interaction when taken with hydroxychloroquine. Antihistaminic drug cimetidine (histamine receptor - H2 blocker) may increase blood levels of hydroxychloroquine. Please inform your doctor about all the medication you are currently taking to avoid interactions that may reduce effectiveness of any treatment or aggravate side effects.
Q. Can hydroxychloroquine make you feel tired/cause cancer/cause gas/ dry mouth/ constipation/ weight gain?Feeling tired, developing cancers, gas problems, dry mouth, constipation and changes in body weight are not among the commonly observed side effects of hydroxychloroquine.
Q. Does hydroxychloroquine contain get you high?No. Hydroxychloroquine does not produce psychological feeling of extreme happiness  or colloquially known as ‘feeling high’.
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