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About to start Plaquenil

Hey everyone! Hope you're having a nice Holiday season.

I was prescribed Plaquenil today. It was called into the pharmacist and I'll be picking up tomorrow. I have no idea if it's generic (I'll bet it is) or what the dosage will be.

Anyone have any advice regarding generic vs. namebrand/side effects/etc..?

Happy New Year! 🎩🍾🎉

11 Replies

Hello! I've been on plaquenil for about 5 weeks now (I've tried and failed methotrexate and sulfasalazine). Plaquenil has the fewest side effects by far! I have a little loss of appetite but that's about it. It's too soon to know if it's helping, but I sure hope so! Oh and my bottle doesn't say plaquenil, just the generic name "hydroxychloraquine" or something. Good luck!

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hydroxychloroquine, it's a antimalaria tablet that is widely used to treat lots of issues, his for Rheumatoid Arthritis, did have to stop this after 6 months due to side effects, affecting my head/eyes, sickness etc etc? Everyone is different so give it a try. Happy Holidays.


There is lots of information on the Lupus UK website. Best wishes Kevin



I have had both the generic Plaquenil & also the main hydroxycholoroquine and have found them both ok. I know some people can be allergic or sensitive to the fillers used in generic drugs but I have never had a side affect with either.

They can take up to 6 months to fully work and for me it was slightly over this but they do make a difference. Nothing helps 100% but it all assists.

Good luck!


I have had Plaquenil could not tolerate it but everyone is different I have been on sulfasalazine for 4 years now and apart from flare ups and off days it seems to be keeping things at bay x

But like I say we are all different


I have been taking Hydroxychloroquine for nearly two years. First I was given it as Quinoric and I didn't tolerate it too well. Bad nausea and acid. My GP then prescribed it as Zentiva and I had no problems at all. Hydroxychloroquine is no longer available as Plaquenil but the Zentiva brand is Plaquenil rebranded. If you are given Quinoric and find you are having problems with it the ask to be prescribed Zentiva. My prescriptions have on them MUST BE GIVEN AS ZENTIVA BRAND.


Thanks guys and gals!


I've been on the generic form of Plaquenil for about 2 years now. I take it at night so I can sleep through the mild side effects of upset tummy. You just really gotta take care of your eyes and see your eye dr regularly!


Yes, the brand (plaquenil) is slightly easier on the stomach because it is coated. The generic is call hydroxychlororquine (just as good as the brand in my opinion), but here in the USA it is less expensive; however both are ridiculous in their cost. For those who need plaquenil in the USA.......they pay more than any other country in the world.........cost is between $600-$900 for the brand and about $300 for the generic (3 month supply.....taking 2 a day).

Make sure you eat before taking the medicine.

Plaquenil is really an antimalarial used in the treatment of lupus be cause it has been shown to help prevent a vasculitis and even increase one's lifespan.

Your Dr. may start you out on 1 pill a day (200mg), but may have to increase to 2 pills a day - taken 12 hours apart........for a total of 400mg a day.

Hope I have helped.

Dr. S. (in the USA)


I forgot to is IMPERATIVE you have your eyes examined EVERY 6 months to make sure you do not develop what we call a bulls eye maculopathy which can lead to blindness. It is a very rare side effect of hydroxychloroquine (about 1%), but if your eye Dr. starts to see retinal changes you will have to stop the drug immediately. Fortunately the vast majority of people on the drug do not develop this problem.

Dr. S. (in the USA)

Retired Neuro-Ophthalmologist


I appreciate all the advice and info. I have had an exam at the ophthalmologist for plaquenil clearance and am on the books for an exam in June.

My dr has me starting out at 200mg 2x/day. The manufacturer of the hydroxychlorroquine provided at my cvs today is Prasco. They can get the brand name Plaquenil if I wind up experiencing bad side effects with the generic. With my insurance, the generic is $2 for a 30 day supply. I'm sure bcbs doesn't cover the brand name, so I'm sure the cost is astronomical.

Well I'm scared to start it to be honest. I know that's silly. I've got plans this weekend, I don't want to mess up my new year! 🤓

Anyhoo, thanks to all for your input.


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