How long did it take hydroxychloroquine to start works no?

Hello all,

I was newly diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis (probably rheumatoid, but not a hundred percent). I was put on hydroxychloroquine and arcoxia. It has been approx 6 weeks, and it just feels like it's gradually getting worse, as appose to gradually better. Is this normal?

I am a mum of 4 and feel so frustrated that I am sore and tired all the time. However, I have found this site so helpful and comforting. Thankyou in advance x

6 Replies

I started on steroids then after four weeks I got the hospital letter and realised I could have started on hydroxy as soon as the steroids worked. So I started the hydroxy about October, I didn't feel much difference but I knew they could take ages to kick in. I stopped the steroids at the beginning of December, I didn't think the hydroxy Es working but now I realise it probably is - I'm a bit stiffer than I was on the steroids but then I got stiffer as I cut down on them.

My thumbs are much better than they were before I started the steroids I can open bottles and pull out plugs and all the things I was unable to do so I think that is probably down to the hydroxy. I would say it has taken about 12 weeks to get the effect. For me it was a very gradual thing.


I guess I need to be a bit more patient. Thankyou for your reply x


Hi, I've been taking hydroxy for just over 3 years now. I think it took about 6wks to work. I still get stiffness pain & flares but not as often. A couple of times I've stupidly decided to stop taking them & I certainly noticed the difference. I've also had a couple of steroid injections which worked really well. Did they tell you to get your eyes checked before taking them & then every 6-9months thereafter?

Hope they work as well for you as they have for me.


I've been on hydroxy for some years now and it's made a big difference. It took a good twelve weeks before I saw a real improvement. My rheumy/GP gave me a course of steroids to help while I was waiting for it to kick in. It might be worth chatting with your GP to see if they'll prescribe them for you.


Hi there, I'm also quite new to hydroxychloroquine, around 8~10 weeks. I contracted pneumonia and had to come off methotrexate. It knocked my RA for 6 and i felt as though I was worse than when I was first diagnosed with RA. I haven't felf any benefit from the hydroxychloroquine yet but live in hope that I can soon give my young grandchildren the attention they deserve. Fingers crossed. I really hope things get better for you very soon so you can do the things with your children that you and they deserve .


Many thanks for all the replies. I have spoken with my rheumy nurse and am going to start a short course of steroids. Fingers crossed that is all I need before the hydroxy starts to kick in. Wishing you all a lovely Sunday x


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