How long did hydroxychloroquine take to work for you?

I have been on it for only 9weeks so far with no noticeable improvement in joint and muscle pains but my Rheumatologist said I may as well stop taking it. Is this really a long enough trial? So far nothing has really helped so I don't know what to do. I had been having mild side effects like nausea. Any advice would be great please.

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  • Hi, I began taking two tablets a day, but I can't remember the strength of each tablet. The rheumy then wanted to see me again in two months which kind of fits in with your experience. But after 4 weeks on it and 40mg prednisolone too, a terrible red rash appeared on my chest. Looked like I had rolled about in a nettle bush and then jumped into a scolding hot bath. It spread over my whole torso and arms rapidly, so they took me off it. It does work for a lot of people though. Did they say what they might put you on instead?

  • Annalouk, I don't think that 9 weeks is enough time to say it is not working. I started on Prednisone and Hydroxychloroquine on the same day, it took 3 months on prednisone (tapering) for rash to settle down and another 3 months before I could really say the the Hydroxychloroquine was helping. My Rheumi had said from the start that it should start working after a few months but not not to expect to see big changes right away. I had to think about the pain that I wasn't having anymore (it doesn't all go away) to appreciate that it was making a difference for me. Good luck with whatever treatment you and your doctor settle on.

  • I personally would give it another month, I'm on 200mg a day. This began two years ago it seemed to take ages before I started to feel a difference but slowly I did notice that I wasn't as achy and everything started to get 'better', as another reply says, the pain doesn't go completely, I have good and bad days. I think only you can decide if your prepared to try a bit longer or ask for an alternative. We all react in different ways to medication and what works for some won't for others. Hope you get some relief from pain soon.

  • I'm on alternating 200 & 400mg and it took a whole 10 months to get some control over my light sensitivity. I wouldn't give up just yet.

  • Hi iv been on hydroxycholoquine 200mg a day for passed 3months and I'm also 15weeks pregnant.I haven't notice any difference in terms of pain and I'm still tried.this is my 5th pregnancy and my morning sickness is still there don't know if its the hydroxychroquine making me feel nausea. I have a appointment with the rhumotology so I'll let you know what they have to say..

  • Hi, I was told when I was put on them over 20 years ago that it can take up to 6 months for them to start working! X

  • My Rheumy started me on 400 no per day and told me that it would take about 6 months for it to make a real difference. In fact after about 6 weeks the Malar rash began to fade and disappeared quite quickly after that. After about 3 months my kidney results were more positive and the joint pain was greatly reduced. It really did help me and Though I had a bit of a hippy tummy at first I am so glad that I persevered

  • to soon,my rheumatolgist started me on 200 mg for 4 month's reviewed how getting on had made change with fatigue so added 2 pill to make 400mg reviewed again in another 4 month's.much improvement only mild side effect of headache first 2 weeks.

    told take 1 morning after food 1 evening after food a 12 hour gap between doses.

    has helped a great deal reducing my sun light sensitivity to point rarely get full on butterfly rash now.

    joint pain it helped as well. for me i developed other problems so added azathioprine that was after 2 years doing well on just hydroxycholorquine.

    im now just on hydroxy again....helping me alot so 9 weeks seems so short.ask for longer unless some serious or many side effects.

  • Hey there I was told it takes 6months to work in and out of the body.

  • I've been on it nearly 3 months now and it's not done anything for my symptoms, if anything they're worse. I am aware that it can take a long time to feel the full effect so am sticking with it, but am thoroughly fed up with not seeing any improvement!

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