Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil Generic)
When a person travels to pandemic regions, it is necessary to have drugs that can help to prevent and cure diseases. Malaria is a dangerous disease that mosquitoes transmit when biting a person. Unfortunately, it is impossible to find out whether an insect is infected or not. Only several days after a bite, a patient starts feeling first symptoms such as fever, headache, stomach upset, vomit, and fatigue. If people delay treatment, they can fall into a coma and even die.
Hydroxychloroquine is used in the treatment of this terrible infection. It affects parasites that penetrate a person’s blood via a bite. One has to take the drug for a long period to experience the positive effect. Except for malaria, this drug also reduces joint swelling caused by arthritis and skin problems provoked by lupus. As a rule, this medication is used in combination with other drugs for a successful therapeutic effect.
Note! Some websites discuss the use of Hydroxychloroquine in Covid-19 cases. Nevertheless, this drug is never prescribed for coronavirus therapy, unless a person is a participant in a scientific experiment.
How to Use Safely
Anti-malaria drugs must not be taken without a doctor’s supervision. The safest variant is to consult a health expert after a bite or when the first symptoms occur. Professionals know how to diagnose the disease and what dose to prescribe to help their patients without side effects. If patients suffer adverse effects, doctors either reduce the dose or replace Hydroxychloroquine with another drug.
Pills usually negatively affect the gastrointestinal tract when taken before breakfast. Health advisors recommend taking it during meals or with milk to prevent side effects such as stomach upset or pain. The drug is bitter, so it is better to swallow whole pills without chewing or crushing them.
NB! One should also differentiate between two variants of Hydroxychloroquine — sulfate and base. One needs to take 200 mg of sulfate to equal 155 mg of the base form.
Dose in malaria prevention
There is no standard dose for children and adults in general. Doctors examine a patient’s organism to decide the dose and the duration. They need to know a patient’s weight to prevent overdose. If someone is going to visit a region with malaria mosquitoes, it will be necessary to take 6.5mg of sulfate per one kilogram of body mass. A person takes it once per seven days. The best option is to repeat the dose at the same time on the same weekday, for example, on Mondays at 10 AM.
400 mg is the maximum dose. It is recommended to start the treatment two weeks before travel. Then one needs to continue the medication while staying in the pandemic region and four weeks after that.
Dose for malaria treatment
If the diagnosis is confirmed, the treatment dose will be higher. It usually makes 12.9 mg of sulfate per kilo for the initial dose that should not exceed 800 mg of sulfate or 620 mg of the base. Then, a patient takes average doses (6.5mg/kg) six, twenty-four, and forty-eight hours after the first dose. Sometimes, doctors prescribe up to 13 mg of sulfate or 10 mg of base per kilogram to treat acute symptoms.
Dose for lupus treatment
Scientists argue concerning the correct dosing and recommend asking a health expert to do that. As a rule, it varies between 5 mg/kg and 6.5 mg/kg a day. So, the dose must not exceed 400 mg of sulfate or 310 mg of the base a day. Professionals recommend dividing the dose into two intakes with equal intervals (12 hours — a pill — 12 hours — a pill or 9 AM and 9 PM).
Dose for arthritis treatment
Just like in previous cases, the dosage depends on a patient’s weight and symptoms. An average daily dose varies between 200 mg (155mg) to 400 mg (310 mg) of sulfate/base. Depending on the case, a patient can take the whole dose at once or divide it into two intakes.
Hydroxychloroquine is often prescribed to patients who suffer kidney or liver problems. The dose is usually smaller because the medicine can affect the sick organism. Doctors usually do not prescribe more than 200 mg of sulfate and 155 mg of the base a day. Patients take it two or three times a week. Sometimes the dose is as small as 100 mg of sulfate and 78 mg of the base per 24 hours.
Dose for Coronavirus Treatment
None of the existing clinical trials proved the effectiveness of the drug in Covid-19 treatment. Some people take it as off-label drugs, though health experts do not appreciate such a decision because of a lack of information.
Availability of Hydroxychloroquine
Hydroxychloroquine can be branded and generic. The price differs, depending on the manufacturer and the country. Brands are expensive while generics are cheaper. It is comfortable to take pills because pharmaceutical companies create 200 mg and 400 mg pills of sulfate variants. Advance Canadian Pharmacy has the lowest price. The price varies between $0.62 to $1.40 per item, depending on the number of pills per pack. The more pills a pack has, the cheaper the cost will be.
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The drug is available in brick-and-mortar and online drugstores.
Pharmacists recommend taking the drug only after consulting a health advisor. Only a professional can consider all the pros and cons of the prescribed drug.
The most frequent side effects are:
- digestive disorders,
- suppressed appetite,
Most patients who follow a doctor’s recommendations do not experience any negative reactions to the drug. Nevertheless, some symptoms can affect your treatment. That is why it is important to contact a health advisor if you experience one of the following adverse effects:
- slow heartbeat,
- allergic reactions (swelling of body parts, face flushing, itching, skin redness, etc.),
- heart problems,
- sudden mood ups and downs (they can lead to depression and suicidal thoughts),
- hearing and visual changes,
- easy bruising,
- muscle pain or weakness,
- hair loss,
- skin color changes.
Professionals also recommend doing blood tests from time to time to control the level of sugar in the blood. If its level is too low, a person can sweat abnormally, feel dizzy and feverish, be often hungry, and get vision problems. If a person has diabetes, a doctor must know about it.
The earlier a patient informs a health expert about the negative effects, the more chances a doctor has to prevent serious health risks such as a coma, blindness, and death. It is a good idea to inform the FDA about some negative experiences to let the organization conduct deeper research on the problem and correct the dose to improve the treatment results.
To guarantee safe treatment, one should get examined. Blood and urine tests allow health experts to learn if a patient is allergic to the basic component or auxiliary substances. Your pharmacist or doctor should be aware of your blood, kidney, stomach, eye, skin, liver, blood, or neurological disorders. Alcohol or other substance addiction can also affect the treatment outcome. Hydroxychloroquine provokes sudden blood sugar drops, so diabetic patients should be careful.
Hallucinogenic substances such as alcohol, narcotics, hemp, and marijuana can make dizziness stronger, so one should not combine them and avoid responsible tasks, including driving. Moreover, such dangerous combinations can lead to kidney and liver failure.
Another essential preventive measure is the application of sun-protective topicals or wearing long-sleeve clothes because Hydroxychloroquine makes a patient’s skin sensitive to ultraviolet.
If a person is going to have surgery, including tooth extraction, a surgeon should know about the pills one takes to avoid health complications provided by anesthesia. One should store pills at room temperature in a dry place.
Hydroxychloroquine can interact with other drugs and addictive substances. One should pay attention to the corresponding section in the manufacturer’s instructions. The best option is to jot down all the drugs and health problems one has and show the list to a health advisor. The pills usually interact with antiviral, antipsychotic, and antibacterial drugs.
If a person has diarrhea and takes the drugs to stop it, a health expert should know about that. Dehydration weakens the organism and prevents normal absorption of the drug. Consequently, malaria can last longer and will be followed by adverse effects.
The information we provide on this page is not intended to substitute a physical examination and a consultation in your doctor’s office followed with the prescription of the best-suited medicating. Furthermore, this information may appear incomplete, partial, non-specific and otherwise unfitted to be used as the recommendation basis for any type of treatment. We try to create scientifically accurate copies that go through multiple checkpoints and are curated by professionals, but we reserve the right for occasional errors. Seek doctor’s advice before commencing, renewing or discontinuing any drug. The same concerns recommendations and best practices for drug application, effects, caution and adverse reactions.