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plaquenil side effects

just started on plaquenil (about 6-8 weeks so far) and I have noticed some strange symptoms.
- irritability / low mood
- anxiety / chest tightness
- eyeballs hurt when I rub my eyes
Couldn't find much about these side effects online ... anyone else experiencing these or am I just going crazy

  1. I’m sorry to hear about your symptoms. I know I experience the first 2 when my overall pain and fatigue are up. I have read that Plaquenil can make your eyes and skin more sun sensitive - which I just experienced on an Arizona vacation. Mine was mild enough that it responded to OTC moisturizing eye drops. It might be a good idea to reach out to your prescribing doctor, perhaps through their portal? Or speak with the pharmacist where you get your Rx filled. It would be good to understand if the issues are related to Plaquenil or something else. Hope you find your answers, Jo

    1. Hi . As Jo noted, it is important to bring any potential side effects to the attention of your doctor. Besides making sure your health is monitored, it is the primary way that side effects are reported to the FDA. I want to share with you this article from our editorial team on plaquenil, including side effects: Some of the things you note are listed, while others such as mood and anxiety can be caused by something on the list - for example: low-blood sugar. Of course, only a doctor can do the proper diagnostics and make sure the symptoms are not from something else. Hoping you can get some answers and an effective treatment soon. Best, Richard ( Team)

      1. I had experienced headaches previously on plaquenil, stopped for a year then added back with different biologic. After a year experiencing shortness of breath with activity and excessive sweating.

        1. Hello All: I indeed suffered a dramatic shift in my vision after a few years on Plaquenil- when I went to see my optometrist he was quite surprised. When he ran through my meds with me and we discussed Ppanquenil he identified that as a problem right away- a significant change in my eyesight in a year. Went off it immediately with no great impact and went on to have much needed eye surgery correction. Make sure that you stay on top of this drug if your doctor feels that there is a high need for you to take it!

        2. oh my, a dramatic shift in vision sounds a bit scary or overwhelming. I'm so glad that you were able to see your optometrist and identify the Plaquenil as a likely culprit so quickly. (One of our advocates, Kelly, wrote about the importance of keeping up with any eye changes/issues in this article,, in case you're interested.)

          Was the eye surgery correction successful? How are you feeling/doing currently? Thank you so much for sharing your experience with the rest of the community. It's a good reminder to all to mention any new symptoms or changes in symptoms to the doctor. Wishing you a gentle evening. -- Warmly, Christine (Team Member)

      2. Hi. I’ve been on plaquenil for 15 years now and my rheumatologist has me attend an eye exam once a year with an optometrist. Ensure there is no damage to the Retina. Extremely low risk to your retina when taking plaquenil but I need to attend or the rheumatologist will stop prescribing plaquenil to me. All the best.

        1. thanks so much for chiming in and sharing your experience on Plaquenil. I'm glad to hear that your eyes have continued to be okay and you've been able to keep up with the optometrist. Wishing you a gentle day! -- Warmly, Christine (Team Member)

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