Her rheumatologist instructed her to undergo a baseline ocular examination prior to initiating Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine, Sanofi-Aventis) therapy. Toxic maculopathy associated with chloroquine use was first documented in the literature five decades ago.1 In the United States, Plaquenil––an analog to chloroquine––is used to treat a variety of conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and several distinct inflammatory disorders. Although the incidence of macular toxicity is infrequent with Plaquenil use (at a dosage of 200mg or 400mg q.d.), its visual impact can be devastating. Chloroquine inhibits Oct chloroquine toxicity Hydroxychloroquine is a relatively safe medication but it is recommended to have regular monitoring by an ophthalmologist eye doctor while taking this drug. Before you begin taking Plaquenil, tell you doctor your complete medical history including any eye problems that may have come from other aminoquinolines other antimalarial drugs such as chloroquine. All individuals starting Plaquenil treatment should have a baseline ophthalmologic examination within the first year. If the initial ophthalmologic examination is normal and the person is considered low risk, re-testing need not occur for five years. Otherwise, you should have a check up with an optician once a year and tell them that you're taking hydroxychloroquine. You should report any new eye symptoms to your doctor straight away. If you develop any other new symptoms or there's anything else that concerns you after starting hydroxychloroquine, you should tell your doctor or rheumatology nurse specialist as soon as possible. Initially, central visual acuity may be unaffected, but the patient may notice related paracentral scotomas that often interfere with reading. The associated classic retinal toxicity is described as a bull’s eye maculopathy (ring of depigmented retinal pigment epithelium that spares the foveal area). Do you need a baseline eye exam before taking hydroxychloroquine Hydroxychloroquine Plaquenil Side Effects & Dosage for Malaria, Taking Plaquenil for Rheumatoid Arthritis Rheumatoid arthritis medications hydroxychloroquineChloroquine podocytesDoes allwell cover plaquenilHydroxy chloroquine side effectsDo you need to take pain meds with plaquenil The rheumy suggested trying the Brand name, instead of generic. That did the trick. No problems whatsoever with that. It takes weeks to months before you will feel the full effect of the drug. Also - regular eye exams are important while taking Plaquenil - either yearly or twice yearly. My rheumy required a baseline eye exam before starting me on it. Plaquenil -. Hydroxychloroquine Side-effects, uses, time to work. Protecting your eyesight when taking Plaquenil Lupus.. Of course the aim is avoid drug related retinal toxicity, which on ophthalmic examination, appears as the classic Bull’s eye change affecting the macula. Once retinal toxicity from hydroxychloroquine occurs, it is thought that the retinal changes are permanent and the disease can progress even if hydroxychloroquine is stopped for 1 to 3 years. May 24, 2019 If you are allergic to hydroxychloroquine; any part of hydroxychloroquine; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had. If you have had any eye changes or changes in eyesight due to hydroxychloroquine or drugs like this one. If you have psoriasis. If you have porphyria. If you are taking cimetidine. If you are taking any drugs that can cause a certain type of heartbeat that is not normal prolonged QT interval. And before treatment is initiated with hydroxychloroquine, a complete ophthalmic examination should be performed to determine any baseline maculopathy. Ophthalmologists should also follow the most current screening guidelines established by the Academy, 1 recently revised in light of new findings.