Overview and History

Plaquenil, also known as Hydroxychloroquine or Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate, is a medication that belongs to a group of drugs called antimalarials. The primary purpose of Plaquenil is to prevent or treat malaria, an infection of red blood cells transmitted through a mosquito bite. Nevertheless, Plaquenil is not effective in curing severe cases or complicated types of malaria. Plaquenil can also be referred to as a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD). Plaquenil is used to treat discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) as well as systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus or SLE). In addition, Plaquenil is also used to treat severe and chronic rheumatoid arthritis, as it is able to reduce the swelling and pain caused by arthritis, and prevent damage of joints, as well as minimize the risks of disabilities in the long term.

Plaquenil is a medication that was originally used for the prevention and treatment of malaria. Today, it is used to treat specific symptoms of lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and other autoimmune diseases. The exact reason why Plaquenil is effective in treating autoimmune diseases is not yet fully understood. However, it is believed that Plaquenil interferes with the communication of cells in the immune system, thus helping to fight the virus.

Recent research indicates that Plaquenil should only be used as a treatment for COVID-19 in a hospital setting or as part of a clinical trial; thus, you are not advised to take Plaquenil unless there is a corresponding prescription from your healthcare provider.

Plaquenil generic (Sanofi) Immune PharmaceuticalsCanadian Plaquenil Prices (200mg and 400mg)

  • 200mg x 20 tablets = $24.99
  • 200mg x 30 tablets = $34.99
  • 200mg x 90 tablets = $85.99
  • 400mg x 30 tablets = $56.99
  • 400mg x 60 tablets = $103.99
  • 400mg x 90 tablets = $141.99

Manufacturers in US:

  • Sanofi‐Aventis
  • Concordia
  • Sandoz
  • Laurus Labs
  • Accord Hlthcare
  • Amneal Pharms
  • Mylan
  • Lupin ltd
  • Teva Pharms

Manufacturers in Canada:

  • Apotex inc.

Other Generic Names:

  • Hqtor
  • Hydroquin
  • Oxcq
  • Qyn
  • Rhq
  • Rutor
  • Zhquine

Main Alternatives:

  • Methotrexate
  • Enbrel

Recommended Dosage and Administration of Plaquenil Generic

Plaquenil is to be administered in strict accordance with directives from your healthcare specialist. Do not vary the recommended dose, frequency of drug administration, or overall duration of treatment suggested by your physician. Plaquenil tablets are to be swallowed whole. Avoid crushing, breaking, or chewing Plaquenil tablets. Plaquenil can be taken with meals in order to minimize stomach upset, unless your doctor suggests otherwise. Once the treatment course with Plaquenil has started, the patient is required to complete it without any interruptions, even if there are improvements in health conditions, unless advised otherwise by the doctor. If the treatment is stopped earlier than suggested, the infection has a risk of not being stopped completely.

Plaquenil is available in a tablet form for oral administration. Adult dosage for rheumatic diseases may vary from 200 mg/day to 400 mg/day (generally 5 mg/kg, with a maximum daily dose of 400 mg). In specific situations, higher doses may be prescribed, provided there are no contraindications. Plaquenil can be administered as a single dose per day or split into two doses if more than one tablet is taken. Symptoms may start showing signs of improvement within 1-2 months, however it may require up to 6 months to observe complete benefits from this drug. Different diseases may require different dosages of Plaquenil; therefore, before initiating any treatment, make sure to consult with your healthcare specialist and determine the most suitable and safe dosage.

Any missed dose of Plaquenil should be made up for and taken as soon as possible. However, if the missed dose was noticed shortly before the next dose, it is recommended to skip the missed dose and continue with the regular dosage schedule. Avoid taking a double dose to make up for a missed dose.

Summary of Possible Side Effects

Plaquenil is generally quite well-tolerated by the body, with no frequent adverse side effects. The most common side effects include diarrhea and nausea, which usually improve over time. Less common side effects may include changes in skin pigmentation (e.g., darkening or the appearance of dark spots), rashes, changes related to hair, muscle weakness, and others. Rare side effects caused by Plaquenil may include anemia, which may occur in patients with porphyria or G6PD deficiency.

In rare cases, Plaquenil can result in visual alterations or vision loss. These vision issues are most likely to occur in patients taking high doses over a long period of time, as well as patients who are 60 years old and above, and those with severe kidney/liver disease or an underlying retinal disease. The recommended dosage generally does not contribute to the development of any visual conditions. However, it is still recommended to undergo an eye examination during the first year of Plaquenil treatment, with subsequent examinations every 1-5 years.

Moreover, there are some rare occasions when alterations in heart rhythm are caused by Plaquenil in combination with other drugs. Any heart rhythm issues should be reported directly to a healthcare specialist and evaluated only after hospitalization.

Precautions, Contraindications, Interactions of Plaquenil Generic

Even though there are not many drug interactions with Plaquenil, it is still essential to inform your healthcare provider about the full list of medications that you are taking (including natural medicines and over-the-counter meds) before starting Plaquenil treatment.

Administration of Plaquenil alone or in combination with other drugs (e.g., azithromycin) may increase the risk of heart rhythm issues (e.g., ventricular fibrillation, QT prolongation, ventricular tachycardia, etc.).

If you are under the care of other doctors, make sure you inform them about the start of your Plaquenil treatment. Plaquenil does not have a significant effect on the immune system, so vaccines recommended by other doctors are usually permitted. Tell your ophthalmologist if you are taking Plaquenil, so he can schedule regular visual screening tests for you. Any pregnant women, those about to become pregnant soon, or lactating patients must consult a healthcare specialist before taking Plaquenil, even though Plaquenil has been reported to be safe during breastfeeding and pregnancy.

Plaquenil should be stored at room temperature, in a closed container away from sources of moisture, heat, and direct light. Avoid freezing it and keep Plaquenil out of reach of children. Do not keep outdated Plaquenil or any that is no longer needed.

Comparative Analysis of Plaquenil and Ivermectin as COVID-19 Treatment

Plaquenil is an antimalarial medication, analogous to chloroquine (CQ), deemed more as an immunomodulator rather than an immunosuppressant. Plaquenil and CQ are able to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 in vitro, with Plaquenil appearing to remain more potent than chloroquine (CQ). Plaquenil has reported antiviral effects during both pre-infection and post-infection stages. Additionally, Plaquenil is able to interfere with the glycosylation process of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, thereby decreasing the efficiency of binding between angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 on host cells as well as the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Furthermore, Plaquenil may be able to block the fusion of the virus with the host cell by inhibiting the protease activity inside cleaving coronavirus surface spike proteins.

Plaquenil also has the ability to suppress the ‘‘cytokine storm’’ responsible for the progression of the disease to acute respiratory distress syndrome via numerous mechanisms, including the decrease of T-cell differentiation and activation, as well as the reduction in the generation of cytokines by B cells and T cells. There are some ongoing studies in vivo to evaluate Plaquenil’s efficiency in the case of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and as of now they have some preliminary results, which are quite promising.

Ivermectin (product page) belongs to a group of antiparasitic medications, generally prescribed by dermatologists as an initial treatment for cutaneous larva migrans. Notably, Ivermectin has also shown some antiviral activity, acting as an inhibitor of importin-alpha/beta-mediated nuclear import. By influencing importin-alpha/beta-dependent nuclear transport of viral proteins, Ivermectin is able to suppress the replication process of some RNA viruses, such as chikungunya virus, yellow fever virus, and HIV.

Some recent studies have shown antiviral features of Ivermectin in treating the SARS-CoV-2 clinical isolate in vitro, with a single dose of Ivermectin controlling replication of the virus for 24-48 hours after administration. Though not yet concluded, it is believed that these outcomes may be caused by the inhibition of importin-alpha/beta1-mediated nuclear import of viral proteins. However, no complete study of Ivermectin in vivo application has been conducted.

Thus, the abovementioned studies and results suggest that Plaquenil and Ivermectin may be able to act in a synergistic and consequential manner. Essentially, Plaquenil could act as a first-level barrier, inhibiting the virus’s penetration into the host cell, while Ivermectin could decrease viral replication if the virus has already penetrated, thereby strengthening the antiviral effects of Plaquenil. Plaquenil is relatively inexpensive to manufacture and generally safe when the treatment is properly observed and controlled. Ivermectin appears to be safe and easily tolerated, with no adverse drug-imposed effects. In addition, there are no known adverse drug interactions between the two medications. However, no in vivo or in vitro studies have been conducted yet to confirm the effect of combining Plaquenil and Ivermectin in successfully treating SARS-CoV-2 infection. Therefore, any administration of Plaquenil should be done only after consulting a healthcare provider, with strict adherence to the prescription and ongoing monitoring to ensure effective treatment outcomes.


Disclaimer

All the information that you can find here about Plaquenil, its consumption, and dosages is offered for educational purposes. We do not bear any responsibility for the details provided in this article and we encourage you to consult a medical specialist if you want to take this drug. A doctor can properly assess your medical history and conclude whether Plaquenil is safe for you. Taking this drug without a physical examination and consultation with a doctor can cause various side effects. This article does not provide all the information you need to determine whether it is right for you.