Help! my pharamacist cant get plaquenil replacement


I've been on plaquenil for 2 years now after first trying quinoric which affected me badly. I've just spoken to my pharmacist about ordering in the replacement from Zentiva and after several phonecaalls he said that he cant order it in for me as its only for hospital use! What does that mean?!

Ive also spoken to my GP and she said I'll have to go back to using quinoric. Am really worried now as last time I have really bad digestion problems and sickness.

Does anyone know if you can buy this drug privately? ....Am feeling desperate!!

21 Replies

  • Hi Belee,

    I have received other reports similar to this and I am investigating with Zentiva. I am just awaiting a response from them. Some small, independent pharmacies are having more luck getting hold of it than the bigger ones like Boots and Lloyds I believe. Could you possibly arrange for your consultant to prescribe it for you and collect it from the hospital?

  • Thank you Paul, I appreciate it... . Not sure that my consultant would do that as in her opinion 'theyre all the same'!!...worth a try though I guess! My husband is phoning round other pharmacies to see if any of them could order it in. Keeping fingers crossed!

  • Hi Belee, When I originally contacted Sanofi/Zentiva and the lovely lady then give me all the PIP code the product number etc so that the GP and pharmacy would be able to find it.

    When I called at the pharmacy they first said it was not on the books and they wouldn't have it for me, so I called to see the GP as I am allergic to the Quinoric due to there being a difference in the fillers as Quinoric contains silica.

    When I went to see the GP she said its not on our list on medications and she wrote a note to ask the Pharmacy to order it in and she hand wrote a note and took it across the road to the doctors pharmacy herself and they were able to get hold of it by using the order code. Due to it never being ordered with them before as they had to set a order up for it.

    I have noticed like Paul said some pharmacies are saying they can not get hold of it. I asked Sanofi/Zentiva would there be a problem getting this when the problem first arised and they informed me that all pharmacies should have no problem that's when she gave me the contact number encase they did. I know from my experience with my pharmacy which is a co-op one that even when I was on the plaquinel every now and again they would try and give me Quinoric, and on questioning it , They straight forward said its a cheaper option. So I informed them that they needed to change it back. I really hope that they will sort it for you and hopefully Paul will be able to confirm with Zentiva that your pharmacy will be able to provide it....

    I also rung around other pharmacies just encase there was a issue as I was running low and all mine in my area of south Wales stock it, ad they are Lloyds, boots, Co-op if that help. Let us know how you get in x

    Crossing y fingers for you. I have been taking the new Zentiva brand Hydroxychoriquine now for 2 weeks and its the same as the Planquinel even the box is the same just has Zentiva where Sanofi was they are even in the same building as Sanofi & Zentiva are basically the same people just the sister brand name.

    Soz for the long post hope it helps.

  • Grrrrreat info willow: you're a star❗️👏💪❤️

  • Thanks Barnclown, we have to sick together dont we hunnie..Lupus UK is fantastic for bringing us all together to be able to help each other out. Can you imagine the stress with this change to one of our medication without being able to share our information on how to solve it. Yay to Lupus UK and all of us.

  • EXACTLY👏👏👏👏👏👏👏❗️❗️❗️❗️❗️

  • So glad you posted, belee! Hope you'll let us know how you & your hero husband get on with this: it's so important!

  • Hello paul: Hope you'll post on forum especially so that all of us know what you discover. If I have to get plaquenil from the hospital where I'm treated for lupus, that'll be a 3 hour round trip by car....

  • I'm in a conversation with them at the moment but I haven't received any satisfactory comments. They seem to have their head in the ground and were completely unaware that there were any problems.

  • Hmmm...the main thing is: you're on to this👏👏👏👏👋👋

  • Really appreciate your efforts Paul, thank you...its quite a concern that so many of us are experiencing such difficulty in getting a pharmacy to get it for us.

  • My local pharmacy refused to get anything other than quinoric so I phoned Sainsburys. They were extremely helpful and found the one the same as plaquenil - zentiva. They got it within the day for me and I will be using them for all my drugs in future.

    My GP names zentiva on the prescription. He said that as usual it's about cost and which companies supply pharmacies. Lloyds wouldn't "shop around" the drugs suppliers but Sainsburys were quite happy to do it. They said to just phone them every month before I take the prescription in and they'll make sure they get it for me

  • Well done hun x

  • thanks all for your husband and I contacted 7 different pharmacies and only one has said they will try and get it for me!....very relieved that we've found one but very annoyed that the others were adamant they couldn't get it. It appeared to be all the larger pharmacies (Tesco, Sainsburys, Lloyds etc) that wouldn't. I will definitely be getting all my medications from this smaller pharmacy from now on.

    Apparently each pharmacy has a budget and it depends on their costs as to whether they will get in the more expensive brand of hydroxychloroquine. ....It seems wrong. Surely if we're not suited to a certain brand then we should be 'allowed' to request a specific brand that suits us?

    I hope you all manage to find a pharmacy willing to get the new Zentiva in for you. advice would be to ring round as many smaller pharmacies as you can.

    Good luck all xxx

  • Hi beelee im so chuffed for. Yippeeeeeee such a relief X

  • I just get generic hydroxychloroquine. Is that not so good Paul Howard?

  • hope you don't mind if i jump in for a sec: yes the generic is OK for some patients, but others (like me) run into probs: i have chronic oesophagitis & gastritis, which were both aggravated by the generic but not aggravated by plaquenil so my drs made sure i was on plaquenil

  • As Barnclown has said. Plenty of people get on just find with quinoric (generic hydroxychloroquine) but there a quite a few people with lupus that experience an adverse reaction to it and as a result they need the formulation which was previously Plaquenil and is now Zentiva. If you have been taking quinoric and haven't noticed any adverse effects, then you should be perfectly fine to continue with it.

  • I was told the same. My pharmacist, which is Lloyds, cannot get Plaquenil and I should start taking Quinoric instead. The pharmacist also said they might be able to get it back in the future, but for the time being they are having difficulty getting it.

  • I have just printed the advice page from the Lupus UK site with the phone number of Zentiva and taken it to my pharmacy. he will know on Thursday if he can get it, so not going to take the Quioric as i am allergic to several things already and don't want to risk it. I wonder how many days can be missed for the effect to wear off? i know it takes a while to start having an effect.

  • Hey, all these pharmacists! When did they qualify as doctors. How dare they take over our prescriptions. ? This happened to me before. I was prescribed by a consultant, told him sleep difficult. He made out a script adding one at night. Went to Lloyds but they refused it as above scription. Talked to surgery and went ahead and cut it out. Never had it again.

    Eeeuuggggghh .😡😡😡😡😡


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