breaking pills in half hydrochloroquine/plaquinil?

dumb question here...I have mild lupus.

Have any of you good folks broken these pills in half to take?

I started out at 200mg twice a day (had side effects)..then one a day (still crummy), then one every other day...I was going to go off them, and see how my tests turned out in July.

BUT, maybe its better to take half a pill every other day, so some is still in my blood...My pills are these long white things 200 mg..

I guess at that amount every other day be 50mg.

Would the pill be ok broken in half and taken?

31 Replies

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  • have u every come off them before , i did 2 years ago .. i was the same as you too many side effect on 200mg .. so dermy said stop ... that was the worse mistake ever , u dont feel like there are working until ur not on them , i begged to go back on them but like u i only take one 200mg a day and thats not so bad, but i do take antisickness tabs as well if that helps

  • nope never have come off them...I was thinking if I did totally stop them, it might not be good. I thought maybe the lowest amount might work, because the drug has built up in the body. I was gonna try for 50 mg to maintain...

    he has me on 200mg, but every other day now (that's kinda like 100mg a day)..I was going to half it again...and see how my tests look in july...Rhumey said before don't stop taking it, because condition might come back. But he said I have it very mild...Many don't even take meds if its mild...(I don't like meds...and I already take thyroid med)...

  • I wouldn't break them in half, the medication that comes in a single pill without score mark, shouldn't be crushed or broken in half.

    You should check with your pharmacist though

  • Hi dgleds,

    I had to stop taking the Plaquinil because of side effects also..

    Who knows how I'd be at the moment if I hadn't stopped! Waiting for a Rheumy app now..

    Just thought I'd say... That did you know....and not many people do! (Sorry) ! That to have mild Lupus means that there isn't organ involvement ( kidneys lungs ,heart etc).it doesn't mean you haven't got Lupus as bad as the next person or that it shouldn't be treated seriously.. I always thought that to have mild lupus was like having any thing else mildly eg chicken pots ...not to bad and not many spots!.... Then I started getting worse flares ..and I thought if this is mild what must it like to be bad! Then someone on here explained...then it started popping up in things I read...I asked my Rheumy and he confirmed it...

    Mild means no organ involvement x

    Ps to have organ involvement is terrible..I have made and met new friends with this and of course it is in a different league. Different meds and treatment and different pressures and pain on your life ,,,,Lupus is really a terrible illness...

    Hope you can sort out your meds

    Best wishes

  • for me the lupus seems to be joint, tendon, muscle thing ....and the tiredness.&.brain fog ,so far...I thought it was post menopause stuff, or from thyroid probs. I guess they could factor in, as its thought to be from a hormone, stress, and maybe 5% hereditary thing. Tons of stress was around at the time, and my Gran had bad rhumetoid arthritis on Dads side ....My Ana test was high and odd, and I had inflammation (not as bad as some), but it was there...It was the strange kind of stiffness, and loss of range of motion in some parts...The tiredness...brain fog, that doc diagnosed it on. I had loss my hearing for a while too...My slow thyroid went even more crazy for a while, up and down. I have no rashes or many things most lupus sufferers get...No other tests were showing anything, just the ANA and the crp, that's what they went with...So that's my case of mild....PS/I still hurt and sometimes even more, but not so tired....This why I even thought it could just be my thyroid and post menopause stuff, but go with the flow of it I guess. This specialist is a little hard to discuss with..Im in Canada now (good luck getting second opinions)...or even a doctor in BC...

  • ps/ in the start, doc wanted me on steroids and hydrochloroquine...I don't like steroids and had a bad experience with them when my hearing went. They got the hearing back, but holy moly for me the steroids were like hallucinagetic...

  • Iam learning a lot here..I also have mild Lupus the only symptom I had was hair loss & breakage but my Dr wasn't listening when I kept complaining about it, but in 2010 I got a TIA blood worked showed high ana levels but dr didn't say anything..switched Drs and my new one questioned bloodwork and send me to other Dr. In no time they diagnosed Lupus got in Hydroxycloroquine 2 years ago but thus week eye Dr told me to stop taking it because my eyes were being affected.. not even sure if I was supposed to stop it quickly like I did got new prescrip for MTX taking folic acid before first dose..but Iam afraid of the side effects. I really feel that Drs really don't take the time listen of our fears and concerns they don't have time..they just keep handing out prescriptions.

  • Funny you should mention it...I once was tested for ANa test couple years previous to 0ne I had...I have degenerative disc thing...so this lady said you should get them to test for RA, as my Gran had that...it came back positive on the ANA, but negative on the RA.... At the time I didn't know about ANA stuff etc...Doc never said anything more...I just had the report ....I wish I could find that old report.,.different town now, moved etc...My Rhumetologist gives me like 10 minutes...(I don't get to say much)...The Gp I get to see most(i don't have my very own)..has wet blanket personality...more concerned about getting in trouble for doing testing too much, I feel...

  • So what was your diagnostic? My Rehumatologist just ordered my new prescription I had to read about all side effects not even sure I want to take it...sounds scary.

  • Well mild lupus and im hypothyroid....He based the mild lupus on the ANA being 1:320 mixed pattern homogenous and finely speckled..and CRP was 11...and then I guess I had 4/11 things on the lupus test...like thinning hair, sun sensitive, joint,muscle stuff, horrible tiredness...I think that's it. Im on hydroxychloroquine...and ive got it talked down to a lowwww dose for now anyways...And my thyroid meds 112mg a day...synthroid. Occasionally I take diclofenac if things hurt bad...I try to keep walking...I take vitamins A, B complex, C, D with magnesium and calcium...and low dose E...and drink more water...and that's it for now...

  • Yes, its awful..iam tired all the time..which in itself is a bad enough..my hair has got thinner not too bad b/c had tons of it..but Hdrxyquine is suppose to cause hair loss too. I probably gave thyroid issues too I had a cyst the last time I gad ultrasound I had multiple ones but blood work shows thyroid working ok..who knows? Problem with meds seems like side effects are as bad or worse than disease itself...I excercise a lot that helps..we'll jyst gave to take a day at the time and hope for the best. Thanks you are very kind.

  • :)

  • P.s. taking lots of Vitamin D my neurologist told me it does wonders for Immune System.

  • Well they use to say too much vitamin D was bad to take, but they now say the opposite. I think cause they say to be careful out in the sun and wear sunscreen, so not getting our D as much because of that..I try to take my B vitamins in balanced complex 50 mg or 75 mg, because often if you take one of the B vitamins more than the other B vitamins, you can throw it all out of whack...

  • Yes it's fine, I did it for years whilst on 300mg. My friends used to joke I was like a drug lord cos I used to have all my pills out on the chopping board with a big sharp knife chopping them in half :) You might get taste the bitterness a bit more but just take plenty of water x

  • Oh- and it was my rheumi who suggested to do this aswell x

  • Its always best not to do this, as you've been prescribed this for a reason, BUT why not try it I would, its what works for you that matters here! Patient power. You control

  • I'd check with your gp or rheumatologist first.

    I take amitriptyline some nights to help with sleep and I halve them sometimes....LikeTasmin I use a sharp knife and chop but I asked my rheumatologist if it was ok before I did it....

  • I was hydrocholoquine and got such severe headaches that I took myself off of it then took it on and off which was not good. I had a mini stroke involving speech on March 1st, and my new rheumatologist put me on plaquenil which my insurance pays half of. She said that it was better for me. I've had no side effects from it and hope I can continue to afford it long term. I personally would never reduce or remove myself my any meds again without checking with my mds--that's just me personally. I wish you the best.

  • I thought hydroxychloroquin and plaquinil were same thing...I was getting headaches with hydroxychloroquin, and brown urine, no appetite...then they lowered that...it stopped...That was the mega dose 200 mg twice a day...(no good for me).Ive got him talked down to 200 mg every other day..(think that works out to like 100mg every day)...At the mo something is messing up my bowels;(...could be any womanly thing...but my dad had colon cancer...and my doctor is kinda lame about things.

  • Hydroxychloroquine and Plaquenil are the same. Plaquenil is the brand name and hhydroxychloroquine is the generic. My rheumatologist thought the brand name was purer and less apt to cause problems and, in fact, I've had no side effect from it. However, I have an eye doctor's appt this Friday and hopefully it will have had any effect on my eyes either.

  • ahhhh ok...I get some meds covered..so figures I would get the cheaper stuff...

    yes I finally go see an eye doc in June too...

    I thought I was suppose to go in the beginning to eye doc, but the rhumey said no a year after you have been on plaquinil...

    I think they say whatever sometimes...

  • Hi Loretta , so sorry to hear that you had a mini stroke ...just reading back through a thread I had posted on ..just a thought have you been tested for APS ( anti phospholid syndrome) or Hughes syndrome ..if you have I'm sorry to bother you ! But if you haven't please google it and check out the Hughes foundation website ..they also have a Healthunlocked forum...well worth a visit ..

    I wish you wel, in your recovery x

  • I have APS and I've learned so much from the posts re APS. I was diagnosed in the hospital after the stroke and am on warfarin, Paquenil and lipitor . You are definitely not bothering me at all. We're all here to help each other. I'm so lucky that I have a rheumatologist that is a lupus specialist and so knowledgeable about APS which my general md knows nothing about. Now searching for a general MD who understands APS in New York City. Have a great day!

  • Hi Loretta 1106

    Glad you have the correct diagnoses ..but sorry at the same time x here in a England a lot of Drs don't check for APS and a lot more don't know about it! Just seems your bashing your head against a wall most times ! Didn't want to teach you to suck eggs so to speak!, hope you find a good MD really soon x you to have a good day as well xxx bestwishes x

  • I am really lucky that I have a good rheumatologist who is the Director of the Lupus Center in a nearby hospital and she is very familiar with APS, but not my internist. Miraculously, when I had my stroke, the neurologist on call is a stroke prevention specialist and was very familiar with APS --two miracles. Now a 3rd would be to find the internist who is appropriate for me and I do believe that will happen. I have an appt in July (long wait) with someone I hope will fit me. If not, I'll just keep searching.

  • Thanks everyone for trying to help me...

  • Hi deflects, glad to hear yoursound on remission. Im just diagnosed lupus a year ago and find it hards to cope. I took 400 mg hydroxychloroquine for 3 months. Then I asked doctor to cut 1/2 dose. But since last week my rash was ich on my chest and face. I took full dose and very panic don't know how bad my rash would be. I just joined this site today and hope can find some answer.

  • ask doc if hydrocortisone cream would help the rash...I ve not really got the rash..just an itchy spot on my back...no one ever sees anything there...If you can use hydrocortisone cream, it often can be bought over the counter...and cheap...chemist/pharmacist mixes it up.

  • Yes you're right. Take all vitamins, special Vitamin D, B12 and folic acid

  • Just found out today, that my vit D levels are low...Is that from lupus.,.or from avoiding the sun, or from plaquinil? I was taking some vit D before so kinda weird....I don't eat much eggs, or drink milk (except in my tea)...I just feel one imbalance and meds ,seems to lead to another...Argg I use to be so healthy:(

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