How long does Hydroxychloroquine take to work for... - LUPUS UK


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How long does Hydroxychloroquine take to work for joint pain?

Loopylou1234 profile image

Hi, I started on Hydroxychloroquine 200mg a day, for undifferentiated connective tissue disease, about 3 months ago. Within 3 weeks, the eczema I have had all my life completely cleared up!!! Amazing! But I still haven’t had any improvement in the fatigue or joint pain. My Rheumy did say it could take 3-6 months... what are others’ experiences please?

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I started with 200mg twice a day plus 7.5mg of prednisilone and noticed a small difference at around 6 weeks and then gradually more at 3 months and then at 6 months, but there was no massive change 1 day to the next more that if I compared myself over a couple of months I, and mostly people around me could see a difference.

I’m still not back at ‘pre illness’ levels 7 months on, but between the medication helping and also learning how to manage myself and pace there is big improvements.

It’s hard to say which bit the hydroxy helped and which the steroids helped but I’ve gradually reduced to 6mg now of pred and will reduce to 5 hopefully in next couple of months.

Patience and planning help as well and looking back over months at your improvements is where I see it most, I never notice any change day to day or even week to week, but 3 months back then there is definitely a difference.

Good luck and hope you start noticing a change soon.

I have one tablet every other day. they give me dizzy spells if I take any more but other than that I haven't noticed any improvements with pain, I still have eczema I'm just waiting for my next rheumy blood tests to see if anything has changed

Is that why I’m dizzy? Wasn’t sure if it was that or my Sertraline. Started them pretty much at the same time after a miscarriage.

I don't know everything I take seems to make me dizzy. But with the hydroxy I was building up to taking them daily and I think I had too many in a row and woke up 4 times one night feeling like I was spinning off the planet. I stopped taking them for a few weeks until I felt better and have stuck to alternate days since

Hi loopylou,

Im not much for giving advice as Im still new to all this. I had extremely painful knees before hydroxy, i noticed a difference after three months with hydroxy. I was told every case is different and hydroxy can take up to 6 months. Try to be patient. One thing i have noticed, about dizzy spells, heart palpitations, trembling, chest pain and the likes, is that if I ‘let’ myself notice and feel them, they ‘get’ to me, they become worse, then I get scared and well, you know the rest, a vicious vicious circle. But when i’m able to so to say ignore them and convince myself that it’s because i am scared and it is difficult and it will get better, they become less and stop altogether. But we have to be patient and it’s very hard. I think, maybe i am wrong, but i kind of think that maybe we can control some of it.

Now I’m blabbering, but i hope you understand what i mean. Be good to yourself. Hugs xxx

Loopylou1234 profile image
Loopylou1234 in reply to Lili18

Thanks, I totally agree. I am ignoring all my symptoms as best as I can: still going to the gym, still being active with my 3 year old, but just modifying it and giving myself a break if I need to take some time to relax around all that and work.

It took about 6 months for me, but the difference wasn't really noticeable until I stopped them for 2 months and realised I do feel better for taking it.

I know the medics have to tell us it takes some time for the benefits of hydroxy to be felt, and it's as well they do or we'd give up. I ticked off every day until 3 months expecting a miracle! I'm never a good example though, always a useful warning of how not to do things!

Hi Loopylou

Like you I have UCTD. Nice to 'talk' to someone with UCTD, does not seem to be many of us about.

I was told it took a couple of months to work. I was on 300mg a day. So had to cut up a tablet. My consultant was very strict and weight me before prescribing the dose. I also was on 10mg Pred at the time.

HCQ alone does not work for me. I am now on 200mg HCQ + MTX and tapering Pred which is currently 3.5mg.


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