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. The mainstay of treatment for malaria is chloroquine What does hydroxychloroquine combined with methotrexate do for ra Hydroxychloroquine sulphate tablets rheumatoid arthritis Plaquenil flu shot Plaquenil-induced toxicity usually will not occur before five years of taking the drug. “Eye damage due to Plaquenil is not common,” he says. “Rarely will anybody who has good vision and minimal symptoms develop loss of central vision or ability to read if annual screening is done and visual are symptoms reported as soon as they occur so the medication can be stopped if toxicity occurs. If you are taking hydroxychloroquine for a long period of time, your doctor will recommend frequent eye exams. It is very important that you keep these appointments. Hydroxychloroquine can cause serious vision problems. If you experience any changes in vision, stop taking hydroxychloroquine and call your doctor immediately. Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription. Minimum treatment guidelines recommend that every patient taking Hydroxychloroquine Plaquenil should have an annual eye exam after being on the medication for 5-years. But because your vision is priceless, Stonewire recommends annual eye health exams to all our patients on these medications and potentially we may escalate the frequency to every 6-months after 5-years. 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 Indications, Side Effects, Warnings., Hydroxychloroquine MedlinePlus Drug Information Is plaquenil used to treat lupus Aug 29, 2014 As a precaution, patients treated with Plaquenil are advised to get a baseline eye exam prior to starting the drug and then annually thereafter. This information provided by Neil I. Stahl, MD & Tongalp H. Tezel, MD was first printed in the The Moisture Seeker, SSF's patient newsletter for members. The Risk of Retinal Toxicity with Plaquenil. Stonewire Optometry-Blog-Hydroxychloroquine Why you need an.. Hydroxychloroquine - Side Effects, Dosage, Interactions.. It is recommended that you have an eye exam within the first year of use, then repeat every one to five years based on current guidelines. Tell Your Doctor Although there are few drug interactions with hydroxychloroquine, to be safe be sure to tell your doctor about all of the medications you are taking, including over-the-counter drugs and natural remedies. I knew I needed regular eye exams while taking hydroxychloroquine, but was surprised to find out that there were some special tests that needed to be done related to drug side effects. This only became clear after a year's treatment with the drug. 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.