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Effectiveness of Hydroxichloraquine?

Hi. I have a diagnosis of RA that I often query because many of my symptoms appear to tie in more with Lupus - from non erosive joint pain with marginal swelling, sores in nose and chronic hives on my face with swelling around my lips and eyes plus Raynauds and Sjogrens type symptoms and general flu-like aches. My ESR rises to the mid 60s despite relatively minor joint pains. But my ANA has been negative. How often should it be retested and does it often change quite rapidly I wonder?

Also, after 18 months on injectable methotrexate and a year combined with Hydroxy I've been off methotrexate for just over four months now because of side effects and raised liver enzymes. But the rheumy put me back on Hydroxy to "buy us some time" three weeks ago.

In the past week all residual stiffness and ache has lifted and my facial hives have at last died away and the cold tingly stuff and white toes and fingers have all gone. I'm wondering if this could be the Hydroxy or if its too soon and it may really be that the methotrexate is at last leaving my body? It would be interesting to know if you have found hydroxy works very quickly and efficiently for you also?

Meanwhile - after months and months of struggling with poor health I feel on top of the world (but with a wee voice telling me not to get too excited yet!). I would be interested to know if this corresponds with anyone else's experiences of drugs and autoimmune diseases?

2 Replies

I was wondering the same. Been on Hydroxy now for 3 months, on top of Steroids and was wondering what to expect in change. I seem to having less pain. Puzzling me is the fact that I am like death warmed up till afternoon and then there is a large improvement. Is this the medication working or am I poorly in the morning because I take Hydroxy at night??

Any input would be welcome!



I wouldn't have thought you could tell much while still taking steroids Ursi? I take one 200mg Hydroxy in the morning with breakfast and one at night with dinner. I don't really have side effects from it beyond a mild queasiness occasionally if I don't have take it with food.

I'm in the opposite boat to you just now and feel quite okay in the mornings - but by afternoon I'm feeling totally wiped out with fatigue. With me this depends on how well I've slept and whether my RA is flaring or not. My GP pointed out this morning that I took Hydroxy before for a year and it didn't seem to do a lot for my RA - but I'm thinking maybe I don't have RA now and it's morphed into something else (chronic facial hives with icy white toes and parasthesia) which might possibly be why the Hydroxy is working this time? x


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