Precautions

Drug information provided by: IBM Micromedex

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Check with your doctor immediately if blurred vision, difficulty with reading, or any other change in vision occurs during or after treatment. Your doctor may want your eyes be checked by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).

Contact your doctor right away if you have any changes to your heart rhythm. You might feel dizzy or faint, or you might have a fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat. Make sure your doctor knows if you had a heart rhythm problem such as QT prolongation.

This medicine may cause muscle and nerve problems. Check with your doctor right away if you have muscle weakness, pain, or tenderness while using this medicine.

Hydroxychloroquine may cause some people to be agitated, irritable, or display other abnormal behaviors. It may also cause some people to have suicidal thoughts and tendencies, or to become more depressed. If you or your caregiver notice any of these side effects, tell your doctor right away.

This medicine may cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). This is more common when this medicine is taken together with certain medicines. Low blood sugar must be treated before it causes you to pass out (unconsciousness). People feel different symptoms of low blood sugar. It is important that you learn which symptoms you usually have so you can treat it quickly. Talk to your doctor about the best way to treat low blood sugar.

Hydroxychloroquine can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing the chance of getting an infection. If you can, avoid people with infections. Check with your doctor immediately if you think you are getting an infection or if you get a fever, chills, cough or hoarseness, lower back or side pain, or painful or difficult urination.

Serious skin reactions can occur during treatment with this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have any of the following symptoms while using this medicine: blistering, peeling, or loose skin, red skin lesions, severe acne or skin rash, sores or ulcers on the skin, or fever or chills while you are using this medicine.

If your symptoms do not improve within a few days (or a few weeks or months for arthritis), or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

Malaria is spread by the bites of certain kinds of infected female mosquitoes. If you are living in or will be traveling to an area where there is a chance of getting malaria, the following mosquito-control measures will help to prevent infection:

  • If possible, avoid going out between dusk and dawn because it is at these times that mosquitoes most commonly bite.
  • Remain in air-conditioned or well-screened rooms to reduce contact with mosquitoes.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts or blouses and long trousers to protect your arms and legs, especially from dusk through dawn when mosquitoes are out.
  • Apply insect repellant, preferably one containing DEET, to uncovered areas of the skin from dusk through dawn when mosquitoes are out.
  • If possible, sleep in a screened or air-conditioned room or under mosquito netting preferably netting coated or soaked with pyrethrum, to avoid being bitten by malaria-carrying mosquitoes.
  • Use mosquito coils or sprays to kill mosquitoes in living and sleeping quarters during evening and nighttime hours.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines) and herbal or vitamin supplements.