Proper Use

Drug information provided by: IBM Micromedex

Take this medicine only as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.

Swallow the tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it. Take this medicine with meals or milk to lessen stomach upset, unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

Keep using this medicine for the full treatment time, even if you feel better after the first few doses. Your infection may not clear up if you stop using the medicine too soon.

For patients taking hydroxychloroquine to prevent malaria:

  • Your doctor may want you to start taking this medicine 1 to 2 weeks before you travel to an area where there is a chance of getting malaria. This will help you to see how you react to the medicine. Also, it will allow time for your doctor to change to another medicine if you have a reaction to this medicine.
  • Also, you should keep taking this medicine while you are in the area and for 4 to 6 weeks after you leave the area. No medicine will protect you completely from malaria. However, to protect you as completely as possible, it is important to keep taking this medicine for the full time your doctor ordered. Also, if fever develops during your travels or within 2 months after you leave the area, check with your doctor immediately.

If you are also taking kaolin or antacids, take them at least 4 hours before or after using hydroxychloroquine.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For prevention of malaria:
      • Adults—
        • Standard dosing: 400 mg once a week on the same day of each week starting 2 weeks before traveling to an area where malaria occurs, and continued for 4 weeks after leaving the area.
        • Weight-based dosing: Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. At first, 6.5 mg per kilogram (kg) of body weight, not to exceed 400 mg, once weekly on the same day of the week starting 2 weeks before traveling to an area where malaria occurs, and continued for 4 weeks after leaving the area.
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. At first, 6.5 mg per kilogram (kg) of body weight, not to exceed 400 mg, once weekly on the same day of the week starting 2 weeks before traveling to an area where malaria occurs, and continued for 4 weeks after leaving the area.
    • For treatment of malaria:
      • Adults—
        • Standard dosing: At first, 800 milligrams (mg) (4 tablets) taken as a single dose. Then, 400 mg taken 6 hours, 24 hours, and 48 hours after the first dose.
        • Weight-based dosing: Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. At first, 13 milligram (mg) per kilogram (kg) of body weight taken as a single dose. Then, 6.5 mg per kg of body weight taken 6 hours, 24 hours, and 48 hours after the first dose. However, dose is usually not more than 800 mg for the first dose and not more than 400 mg for the next doses.
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. At first, 13 mg per kg of body weight taken as a single dose. Then, 6.5 mg per kg of body weight taken 6 hours, 24 hours, and 48 hours after the first dose. However, dose is usually not more than 800 mg for the first dose and not more than 400 mg for the next doses.
    • For treatment of arthritis:
      • Adults—At first, 400 to 600 milligrams (mg) taken as a single dose or in two divided doses once a day. Then, 200 to 400 mg taken as a single dose or in two divided doses once a day. Your doctor may adjust your dose if needed. However, dose is usually not more than 600 mg or 6.5 mg per kilogram (kg) of body weight per day, whichever is lower.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For treatment of lupus:
      • Adults—200 to 400 milligrams (mg) taken as a single dose or in two divided doses once a day. However, dose is usually not more than 400 mg once a day.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.