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Hydroxychloroquine and the immune system

Hi everyone

Just wondered if anyone can tell me whether hydroxy suppresses the immune system. And if so, to what extent. I know it's not as harsh as some of the other drugs but just wondered what people's experiences are.

I started on it just less than 2 weeks ago, and I'm surrounded by ill people at work and already have a bit of a cold (nothing severe). Really don't want to get any more ill!

Thanks everyone.

5 Replies

Hi if you contact nras or arthritis uk they have info/ leaflets on mosy drugs, not sure it works in this way it is actually an anti malarial drug. it is "milder" than a lot of the other dmards in terms of side effects and activity x


It is listed as having a mild immunosuppressant effect in my book on RA, but one of the reasons for the blood tests is to check that your immune system is not being suppressed too much (eg checking your white blood cell levels), so you shouldn't be completely vulnerable. Even after several years of taking lots of drugs I've not found any difference in the number of colds etc I get, and loads of people on here are teachers etc who get a lot of exposure to colds and coughs without too much problem. But do look after yourself, and make sure you eat well and don't get too tired as if you have a cold already you need to pamper yourself a bit more than you would have before RA. Polly


Thank you both, I thought it shouldn't be too bad and that it's pretty mild in comparison to other drugs. But I just wanted to check... Always better to be well informed and I remember the consultant saying its bit a bad time of year to start on it as I've missed all the bugs round Christmas time so thought there may be a slim chance of it being suppressed. Mind you, pretty much everyone I work with is ill at the moment! Eek!

Oooo and I definitely like the idea of pampering myself more :)

I'm also under a bit of stress at work which is not helping as it makes me feel run down. I asked if I could take more breaks etc as feeling tired and they said I can as long as I still do the same amount of work as everyone else! Errrrrm thanks for your understanding employer!


hi i been on hydroxy for 13 weeks now and have had a cold more or less thoughout those 13 weeks,i spoke o my gp on monday but she didn,t seem worried so i would be interested in following this xx good luck to you hope it kicks in soon xxx


I have rarely had colds on DMARDS and only if my husband kindly gives them to me!! I mean only when in such close proximity. Only had one other bug type thing in 17 years of DMARDS which was Norovirus this Christmas. Oh joy. Fortunately it didn't last more than two days. As the care home where my Mum lives had been quarantined with it but I got it after going to visit her a week after that, I am not sure it had all disappeared as they thought/said it had. I do tend to keep away from anyone I know has colds and my friends know not to meet me when they have them. Sadly some family members don't quite get it and think kids with tummy bugs and "just had chicken pox" isn't a problem for me to mix with. Even get offended if I decline invites!! Er, no thanks! So yes, do take good care not to mingle with those you know have "the festers"! ;-). Sorry, I know nothing about Hydroxy, just MTX and Sulphasalazine. Hope milder weather improves your sniffles and symptoms.

Neonkitty xx


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