Hydroxychloroquine Prescription Information

We have received reports that a number of people are having difficulty getting hold of Plaquenil and have been informed from their pharmacist that it has been 'discontinued'.

After speaking with Sanofi-Aventis Medince's Information Department (the manufacturers of Plaquenil) we have learned that Plaquenil has now been 'de-branded' to generic but that the same forumulation of the drug will be available through pharmacies if they order Hydroxychloroquine through Zentiva (sister company to Sanofi).

This information will be especially important to those people with lupus who experience negative side-effects from the alternative brand of Hydroxychloroquine, 'Quinoric'.

If your pharmacist has any difficulty obtaining the Hydroxycloroquine with the same formula from Zentiva, the product description is: "HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE SULPHATE (ZENTIVA) 200MG FILM COATED" and the 'PIP number' (Product Code) is 1201730. If for any reason they cannot find the product on their system they can ring the customer service line on 01483 505515.

Update - 07/07/2015

We are aware that some pharmacies have been experiencing difficulty in obtaining Hydroxychloroqune Sulphate produced by Zentiva from their suppliers. Local pharmacies which are supplied by AAH (including Lloyds) may not be able to order this brand at present as we have been told that AAH are only supplying hospital pharmacies with Zentiva.

We have been informed by Sanofi Customer Services that we should advise patients to try pharmacies that are supplied by Alliance or Phoenix (including Boots), as there should be no supply issues there. If your pharmacy is supplied by Alliance or Phoenix and is unable to order 'Zentiva' brand Hydroxychloroquine please email paul@lupusuk.org.uk with the name, address and 'account number' of the pharmacy so that we can raise the issue with the producers directly.

17 Replies

  • Thanks so much paul: VVVVVVVV HELPFUL!👏👏🌻👏👏

  • Hi Barnclown. Babs here! I know I know not my usual login but for some reason can't access mine. I've had to set up a new one. Hope you are keeping ok. I have today been put on this medication, I didn't know what it is for but I'm to take 5 a day. Does that sound right to you. I have not officially been diagnosed yet.

    Chat soon Babs x

  • Hello👋👋👋👋please let me know the strength of your tablets and the pharmaceutical name in the bottle...is it hydroxychloroquine sulphate? Usually the dose of this per day is maximum 400mg, composed of 2 X 200mg tabs. but hydroxy dose come in several forms with slightly different pharmaceutical names. Am glad to know your consultant is moving along promptly to try you on hydroxy..makes sense...I suggest you take the tabs with food. Looking forward to hearing how you get on👍👌☺️XO

  • Thanks Paul for your research, that kind of initiative is priceless for some of us. Many thanks.

  • This is a only one medicine for lupus patients, it's good to know what's going on with it, thank you very much for your researching Paul.

  • Thank you so much for doing this research for us. I was wondering why I was suddenly receiving Quinoric - have only taken a couple of these tablets so far. Can you tell me what the common negative side effects might be? I am having my first major flare for 20 years and won't be sure if health problems are the SLE, other ailments or the new pills.

  • The main side-effects that people taking quinoric may identify are things like stomach upset, gas or nausea.

  • Here's some additional information folks may find helpful. In another thread, two HU members reported good experiences with another generic. Both were on Sanofi Planquenil but had to switch when it became unavailable. The generic they switched to is by Blackrock Pharmaceuticals.

    Tinkywinky wrote:

    "I too am taking hydroxychloroquine sulphate 400mg daily, and similarly was prescribed plaquenil, since it's become difficult to obtain, I have visited several pharmacies in my quest to obtain film coated alternatives. The larger chemists are tied to pharmaceutical outlets, as has been explained to me by a pharmacist from Boots Plc. So in my quest I have contacted the smaller independant chemists, lo and behold I've acquired hydroxy film coated generic brand marketed by Blackrock Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Vanderveil House, Vanwall Business Park, Maidenhead. Berkshire SL6.4UB."

    and chrisj wrote:

    "I changed to the sulphate a couple of weeks ago as the original plaquenil isn't available here any more. My gp sorted it with the pharmacist who then did some research and found this hydroxy sulfate, not spelt with the usual ph.

    Can't see any brand name on it like the ones you all have mentioned, it just says distributed by Teva UK Limited on one side of the box. Its a yellow pill with the word INCEPTA printed on it.

    I take 400 and 200m on alternate days, used to be 400 a day but was reduced last year, and its suited me well as plaquenil did. The pharmacist reassured me it had the same fillers as plaquenil so now its on my repeat script...panic over :)"

    The generic chrisj writes about IS the Blackrock Pharmaceuticals generic. I was able to find this information about it:

    "Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate Tablets are round, light yellow tablets with a score line on one side and Incepta inscribed on the reverse."

    Inactive ingredients are: lactose monohydrate, maize starch, hypromellose, croscarmellose sodium, magnesium stearate, talc, titanium dioxide, macrogol 6000, iron oxide yellow E172 and polysorbate 80.

    So, for those of you running into issues acquiring the Zentiva generic, you just may have another option!

  • Thanks for your post. I've just picked up my repeat prescription and discovered in was Incepta. Just taken the first tablet this morning so fingers crossed it will be ok. Couldn't find info on it anywhere else on the web

  • what if you already picked up your prescription from the pharmacy and find it's Quinoric even though you clearly stated on your prescription request to the GP that you wanted Plaquenil??? Can I take those unused meds back to the pharmacy and say have them back, refund me please and let me have the prescription back so I can take it somewhere they will give me the correct requested drugs???

  • As I've replied on another comment to you - Plaquenil is no longer available so you won't be able to get it anywhere. If you have experienced adverse effects to Quinoric and know that you need a different brand then you can request 'Zentiva' which has the same formulation as Plaquenil.

    I don't believe that any pharmacy will accept them back, except to safely dispose of them for you and you won't be able to get your prescription back. You will most likely need a new prescription issued by your doctor. Do you pay for your prescriptions individually? If you are needing more than one per month then you would save money by having a prescription prepayment certificate.

  • My prescription still says Plaquenil but thanks to Lupus Uk I was able to print out the information given about Zentiva and gave it to the pharmacist which was used and has had no problems getting my supply from them. I always keep the pharmacist aware of any changes that may affect my prescriptions and I wont accept any alternatives, I have in the past returned a wrongly dispensed Quinoric to the pharmacy and had it replaced with no problem as I know my prescription says Plaquenil and they should dispense exactly what is written.

  • Here in the US the PRAXIS generic is one go-to formula. Covis/Concordia has been marketef/sold by the giant CVS at $250/mo. For a 200 mg. dose. Screams "fraud" to the rheumy and me. Too ill to take them on, I've switched pharmacies. molly

  • Paul, massive thank you .. thus information has helped me enormously in getting the correct medication. Like many others I had serious side effects when taking quinoric.

  • This is a very interesting post, as I have been really unwell since starting to take the Blackrock tablets. I had previously been on 200mg of Quinoric for 3 years, with no side effects. I went downhill in September with flare symptoms and have finally deduced that it's the tablets that did it. I was planning on stopping the treatment all together, but was advised against this by my Rheumatologist, so have now found that they dispense Quinoric at my local Sainsburys. Just goes to show we are all different, as it seems that it's usually Quinoric that people are allergic to. 😀

  • Only to say thank you so much to Paul for all of the invaluable information supplied I've had terrible stomach problems and nausea recently due to my prescription being changed (without my knowledge) from Plaquenil to Quinoric I just have to wait another day to confirm this with my consultant and will then go to my GP to request a different prescription .....now armed with the knowledge from Pauls research I will hopefully be able to get the hydroxychloquine from Zentiva

  • I read Pauls info. I got dreadful stomach ache with quinoric. I had had this reaction once before with a NAIDsDrug. The decided it was the caring agent in the drug. I followed Pauls advice and got Zentive brand added the the prescription. And have had no problems since. I did get it through Lloyds when put this way on the script. I did feel terrible on Quinoric

    Hope this helps and thanks for Pauls advice

    Good luck

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