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Hydroxychloroquine – Side Effects, Dosage, Uses

Hydroxychloroquine

Hydroxychloroquine РHydroxychloroquine is an anti-malaria medicine. Doctors use it to prevent or treat malaria caused by mosquitoes. In some cases, doctors can also use this medication to treat a few autoimmune diseases such as lupus, arthritis, etc. Hydroxychloroquine Can lower pain and swelling in arthritis where it can also reduce skin problems in lupus. 

The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides updated guidelines and travel recommendations for the treatment and prevention of malaria in different parts of the world. You should be very careful while traveling to areas where malaria occurs. 

Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19

Soon after the rise of the novel coronavirus, hydroxychloroquine came into the limelight. Many experts believe that hydroxychloroquine Can lower the symptoms of COVID-19.

During the first quarter of the year 2020, the United States Food and Drug administration also gave emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine To treat people affected with COVID-19.

But in June 2020 United States Food and Drug Administration revoked its emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine to treat people affected with COVID-19.

FDA quoted that previously hydroxychloroquine was helping people to lower the symptoms of COVID-19, but it wasn’t able to replicate it again. 

Warnings for Hydroxychloroquine

Let’s talk about a few warnings associated with hydroxychloroquine. 

Hydroxychloroquine Is known to cause dangerous effects on your heart health. If you use any other medication, it can cause a life-threatening situation.

You should call 911 immediately if you ever feel fast or pounding heartbeats and dizziness after taking medicine.

Hydroxychloroquine can also damage the retina of your eye if you take it for a longer period of time or at high doses. Any damage to your retina could cause permanent vision problems. You must be aware of your regular dose.

If you ever get blurred vision, trouble focusing, blind spots, trouble reading, change in your color vision, light sensitivity after taking medicine, you should call your doctor or 911 and seek emergency medical attention.

You should tell your doctor about any other medical conditions you have, such as diabetes, stomach disorder, allergy, liver or kidney disease, etc. 

People younger than 18 years are also prohibited from using hydroxychloroquine to treat lupus or arthritis. 

Side Effects Of Hydroxychloroquine

As you already know, hydroxychloroquine is very good medicine to treat malaria and some autoimmune diseases such as lupus and arthritis.

But it is also known to have a few side effects. Let’s talk about them.

Vision Difficulties

Hydroxychloroquine is known to cause many vision-related problems in people after they first start taking it. It is a very serious side effect, and you should not ignore it. You are always advised to call your doctor or 911 and seek emergency medical attention. 

After taking hydroxychloroquine, you might get blurred vision, and it is also possible that you might feel difficulty reading words or letters. 

Sensitivity to light or to see flashy lights is also very common, and it must be reported back to your doctor. 

Muscle Weakness

As per many studies, hydroxychloroquine can cause muscle weakness when you first start taking it. It is a very serious side effect, and you should report it back to your doctor. Many people find working very hard after they take hydroxychloroquine for the first time. It might be possible that sitting for a longer period could become hard after taking the drug.

Low Blood Sugar

Low blood sugar is also a very serious side effect of hydroxychloroquine medicine. Many people have reported back that they’re having issues related to low blood sugar, such as headache, sweating, dizziness. It is also possible that you get a fast heart rate and feel anxious or shaky. If these symptoms are not going away in a few hours, you should contact your doctor.

Low Blood Cell Counts

Hydroxychloroquine Is known to have a side effect that can cause low blood cell counts. It is also possible that you get other physical problems due to low blood cell counts, such as fever, chills, tiredness. Many people have reported back that they are getting pale skin, Cold feet, and cold hands.

At the same time, feeling lightheaded, short of breath, unusual bleeding is also very common in low blood cell counts. You are advised to call your doctor if you ever get any of these side effects.

Sudden Mood Changes

Sudden mood changes are also a very common side effect of hydroxychloroquine. Even though it does not promote any life-threatening side effects, sometimes it can be the cause of feeling nervous or irritated. You should be very careful about your mood changes also.

Weight Loss 

Many people have reported back that they are having hair loss after they start taking hydroxychloroquine. The medicine is known to cause loss of appetite, which can result in weight loss if you are not careful enough for your diet. Always take care of your diet and let your doctor know if you are having any appetite loss issues.

Hair Loss

temporary hair loss is also a very common side effect of hydroxychloroquine. Not just men but many women have also complained about hair loss once they start taking hydroxychloroquine for their arthritis and lupus. If you already have hair loss, drugs could make it worse. 

Dosage Of Hydroxychloroquine

You should be very careful while taking your daily dose of hydroxychloroquine. You should take your drug exactly as prescribed by your doctor or pharmacist. You are advised to follow all the instructions written on your prescription label.

Usually, doctors advise taking hydroxychloroquine with a meal or glass of milk. But depending on the percentage taking it, your doctor might recommend a different way.

To prevent malaria, Doctors usually recommend taking hydroxychloroquine at least once per week. You should start taking medicine two weeks before entering the area where malaria is more common in The United States. Kindly keep taking medicine during your whole stay and for at least four weeks after you leave the area.

People affected with lupus and arthritis are recommended to take hydroxychloroquine on a daily basis. 

Even if you feel fine, you should not stop taking medicine. Doctors always advise taking medicine for the full prescribed length.

Kindly store your medicine at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

Usual Adult Dosage For Malaria

  • Eight hundred milligrams of salt orally as an initial dose.
  • 400 milligram salt at 6, 24, and 48 hours after the initial dose.

2000 milligram salt total dose in 48 hours.

Other than that, though, your doctor might recommend you a different dose depending on the weight of the person taking it.

Kindly remember that the dosage of hydroxychloroquine is going to be different for malaria, lupus, and arthritis.

If you ever miss your daily dose, you are advised to call your doctor as soon as possible for further instructions. 

Kindly do not overdose on it. An overdose of hydroxychloroquine can cause serious life-threatening issues. Call your doctor or 911 and ask for emergency medical attention. 

Takeaways

Hydroxychloroquine is very good medicine to treat malaria and a few autoimmune diseases such as lupus and arthritis. Other than that, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends taking medicine once a week when you are going to malaria affected area.

It is known to cause some serious side effects such as blurry vision, low heart rate, hair loss, and other physical problems. 

Under any circumstances, you are not supposed to overdose on hydroxychloroquine. It can cause serious life-threatening problems.

Hydroxychloroquine recently made the news after it was given emergency use approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration to treat COVID patients. But, the FDA has revoked the emergency use approval to treat COVID patients.

What if I overdose on hydroxychloroquine?

Under any circumstances, you are not supposed to overdose on hydroxychloroquine. You should always stick to your prescribed dosage, and even if you miss any of your daily doses, it is a wise decision to call your doctor rather than take two doors at the same time. Overdose of hydroxychloroquine can cause serious life-threatening issues such as seizures.

Can I mix hydroxychloroquine with other drugs?

Mixing hydroxychloroquine with other drugs can cause serious heart problems. You should let your doctor know about any other medication you are using. If you have an infection, heart problems, asthma, depression, mental illness, cancer, or HIV, you should let your doctor know about it also. Sometimes even over-the-counter medications such as vitamins and herbal products can Cause life-threatening situations.

Can I use hydroxychloroquine to lower my covid symptoms?

Hydroxychloroquine was given emergency use approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration to treat COVID patients. In initial research, Hydroxychloroquine was very effective to lower the symptoms of novel coronavirus, but later it was not able to replicate the initial results. That is why the FDA has revoked the emergency use approval to treat COVID patients.

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