Does being on hydrochloroquine make you more susc... - LUPUS UK


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Does being on hydrochloroquine make you more susceptible to catching infections?

Belee profile image

Hi, I've been on hydrochloroquine since February and it's helping my symptoms a lot. However, I now seem to be catching all the coughs and colds that my kids are getting and then my symptoms seem to escalate into a flare.......Three weeks ago one of my daughters had a cold. I got the cold which then turned into costochondritis and resulted in me being in bed in agony for 2 weeks. Ive had four days of feeling better and now my son has a sore throat and cold. I woke up this morning with a sore throat but also my whole body aching this because the hydrochloroquine suppresses the immune system making us more prone to catching things or is this just lupus doing its thing?! xxx

11 Replies


I dont think there is any reason to think that your hydroxy is to blame for a rise in infections. It works by altering your acid balance and has a slight amphetamine effect. The most common side effect is digestive upsets, whihc tend to pass after a few months.

That said a few people cannot tolerate the stuff.

saranne profile image
saranne in reply to Thaddeus

Hi I am interested in how hydrochloroquine works. When you say it alters acid balance, is that more or less acid? Also the slight amphetamine effect, could that cause palpitations ?

Thanks I was never told anything about how it works!

Thaddeus profile image
Thaddeus in reply to saranne

Hello Saranne. I will get back to you later with a fuller answer. If you want a really good clear book on the subject of how your meds work read Pills Potions and Poisons.

Thanks for the reply.... That's a big relief!!....I have been fine on it and it has relieved a lot of my symptoms..... I guess the frequent infections is just one of those things!

Hi, are you on steroid (prednisolone)? as this will lower your immune system and cause you to catch a lot of colds

No I'm not on steroids but that's interesting and maybe what my GP was talking about.....she mentioned that the medication lowers the immune system so I assumed she meant the hydroxy!

Hi yes hydroxy can make you more suseptible to infections. Last winter I couldn't fight anything off do far I havnt been do bad so maybe more at beginning

Kind regards


Thanks Lesley-chard, hope you continue to have a better winter this year! Xxx

Hi, I was on it for nearly 30 years and to be honest never really caught anything despite working in a large office which is always full of people with colds etc

does anyone know if hydrochloroquine can make your skin be more dry? The wrinkles seem to be coming even quicker...

I havent had many colds or anything, but Im on my own a lot...I try to avoid groups of people in flu season etc..wash my hands lots..take vitamin C...kinda paranoid now to catch anything....

I wouldn't have thought Hydroxy would make you more likely to catching a cold. Depends what other drugs are taken with them. Some suppress the immune system making it more likely to pick up bugs.

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