St Thomas Lupus Trust

Plaquenil v Generics

Has anyone else had problems with the generic versions of Hydroxychloroquine? At first I had problems with the more vividly coloured versions, (rashes, fat lips, bumps appearing on my forehead, stomach related problems and so on) so went back to Plaquenil. Gradually, I was told that my pharmacist had to order Plaquenil especially until the last repeat prescription 2 weeks ago, when I was told it was no longer available from suppliers. I was given another generic, Quinoric. I had hopes that as this was white coloured, I would have no problems with it. Wrong! I became chronically tired (falling asleep at the drop of a hat, tired), breathless and difficulty expanding my lungs, over come with general malais, nerve pain in my teeth of all things and bad mood swings ( one day, panicky, irritable and ready to clonk someone to down in the depths cry buckets depression the next day. I am not an excitable individual but I didn't feel in control at all.

I queried this and my Pharmacist told me that the only option open to me was to get a letter of request for Plaquenil from my GP, he would then have the authority to order a supply of Plaquenil for me. It did not make any difference that this request was already stated on my repeat prescription form, it had to be a letter. Anyway I have followed his advice and my GP is providing a letter.

I know that the active ingredient of Hydroxychloroquine is the same in Plaquenil and its generic equivalents but on research there is a vast difference in the packing agents.

I have been on Hydroxychloroquine, Plaquenil, for 21+ years with no problems, why change something that ain't broken? When people's well being and quality of life is at stake surely economics should take a back seat from both the drug companies and the NHS points of view. Either that or the NHS should up their negotiating skills.

Told you I'm having mood swings!

1 Reply

I can understand how frustrating that must be when your already dealing with the symptoms of lupus and then an added extra lot are thrown on top unexpectedly. Hopefully your Gp can help you now with it.

I.personally have only reacted to one generic version but have been fine with the rest, but I am sure there will be others like yourself too who have struggled with them. X