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Plaquenil, not sure what to Expect?!

  • By Lisa B

    My Rheumy put me on Prednisone for 5 days (since my blood tests were mostly mid level, not high) to see how it affected my pain and swelling. It worked great! I was able to raise my arm above my head to shampoo my hair in the morning, and pick up a glass of water. And going up and down the stairs, I’m almost back to running up and down. Can’t believe how much better I feel.

    Then he wanted me to call at the end of the 5 days to see how I am. And I was told by his nurse that he wants to put me on Plaquenil (Hydroxychlorquene) after I have my colonoscopy and endoscopy next week. I was found to be severely anemic, so they are going to do those procedures to rule out any other issues.

    Any one been on Plaquenil? Does it help, any major side affects? I believe I have a mild form of RA, but have not been told this by the doctor. Should I ask if that is my diagnosis? Thanks for any answers to my questions.

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  • By Mariah Z. Leach Moderator

    Hi Lisa~

    Prednisone can certainly be a life-saver sometimes! Glad to hear that it has helped you! However, there can also be some unpleasant side-effects when you stay on prednisone long-term, which is probably why your doctor wants to try some other treatment methods.

    Plaquenil is a drug that many people diagnosed with RA try. It is a type of disease-modifying anti rheumatic drug (DMARD), which means that it will actually work to slow the process of your RA (whereas prednisone is only treating the symptoms).

    If you have questions about side effects or your diagnosis, the very best person to ask is your doctor. It is your doctor’s job to answer your questions, so don’t let them make you feel rushed! Sometimes I find it helps to take a list of my questions to my appointment with me – so I don’t forget what I wanted to ask!

    Best of luck to you! And try to be patient, as it may take a while for your medications to start working!

    ~Mariah~ (Site Moderator)

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  • By Steve

    I’ve been on Plaquenil for about 8 months and I think its help me a lot..however you have to be very sure to use sun screen when you go out in the sun even for a few minutes. It makes you very sensitive to the sun. I had a 2nd degree sunburn in just an hour in mild sun.

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  • By Mariah Z. Leach Moderator

    Hi Steve ~ Glad to hear the plaquenil is helping you but sorry it has made you so susceptible to the sun! It can be so hard to balance the cost and benefits of each of these medications, but hopefully you can take precautions so that the benefits outweigh the costs!

    Best!
    ~Mariah~ (Site Moderator)

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