Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Autoimmune

Plaquenil Alternatives

(hydroxychloroquine)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Autoimmune
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Compare Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) to alternatives

These medications are comparable to Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) or used for similar purposes.

Plaquenil
(hydroxychloroquine)

Arava
(leflunomide)

Otrexup
(methotrexate)

Azulfidine
(sulfasalazine)

Aralen Phosphate
(chloroquine)

Treats malaria and autoimmune conditions including rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) is an effective medication for autoimmune conditions and malaria that comes with less side effects than other DMARDs.Coming soon.Treats cancer and changes how your immune system works. Otrexup (Methotrexate) is a first line treatment for many autoimmune diseases and types of cancer. If you're taking it for a long time, you'll have to get routine blood tests.Reduces inflammation. Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine) is used for moderate to severe inflammatory bowel conditions, and with other meds for treating rheumatoid arthritis.Coming soon.
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Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine)?
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Have you used Arava (leflunomide)?
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Have you used Otrexup (methotrexate)?
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Have you used Azulfidine (sulfasalazine)?
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Have you used Aralen Phosphate (chloroquine)?
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Side effects
PlaquenilAravaMethotrexateSulfasalazineChloroquine

The Plaquenil FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Plaquenil side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Arava side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Arava »
  • Elevated liver function tests 15%
  • Nausea/vomiting 10%
  • Mouth and lip swelling 10%
  • Thrombocytopenia 10%
  • Rash/pruritus/dermatitis 3%
  • Diarrhea 3%
  • Hair loss or baldness 3%
  • Low white blood cells 3%
  • Low blood cell count 3%
  • Dizziness 3%
More Methotrexate side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Sulfasalazine side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Sulfasalazine »

We haven’t found good data for Chloroquine side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Chloroquine »
How it works
PlaquenilAravaMethotrexateSulfasalazineChloroquine
Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) belongs to a group of drugs called DMARDs (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug).It calms your immune system and blocks the functioning of parasites responsible for malaria.Coming soon.Otrexup (Methotrexate) is an anti-cancer and immunosuppressive medication that treats forms of cancer, arthritis, and psoriasis. For cancer, it helps your body destroy cancer cells by blocking building blocks that cancer cells need to grow. For rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, it lowers the body's normal immune response and prevents the body from attacking itself.Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine) is an anti-inflammatory drug that reduces inflammation and pain. It treats inflammatory bowel diseases and rheumatoid arthritis.Coming soon.
Type of medication
PlaquenilAravaMethotrexateSulfasalazineChloroquine
Prescription onlyPrescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
PlaquenilAravaMethotrexateSulfasalazineChloroquine
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
Used for
PlaquenilAravaMethotrexateSulfasalazineChloroquine
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Malaria Malaria Prophylaxis Non Intestinal Amebic Infection
Risk factors for serious side effects
PlaquenilAravaMethotrexateSulfasalazineChloroquine
  • Women of childbearing age
  • Higher doses
  • Kidney disease
  • Use for longer than 5 years
  • Current problems with vision
Detailed Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) risks & warnings »
    Coming soon.
    • Women of childbearing age
    • Men of childbearing potential
    • Reduced kidney function
    • fluid in the abdomen (ascites)
    • fluid in the lungs (pleural effusion)
    Detailed Otrexup (methotrexate) risks & warnings »
      Detailed Azulfidine (sulfasalazine) risks & warnings »
        Coming soon.
        Pregnancy

        Research studies with real people or animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. If you’re pregnant, the risks to your unborn baby outweigh the benefits.

        Research studies with real people or animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. If you’re pregnant, the risks to your unborn baby outweigh the benefits.

        Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

        Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

        Interactions
        PlaquenilAravaMethotrexateSulfasalazineChloroquine
        • Certain medications can interact with Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine), so to be safe, tell your doctor about other medications and supplements you may be taking.
        No interactions related info.No interactions related info.No interactions related info.No interactions related info.
        Alcohol
        PlaquenilAravaMethotrexateSulfasalazineChloroquine
        • Don't drink alcohol while taking Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine). Alcoholic drinks can lead to liver problems while taking Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine).
        No alcohol related info.
        • Don't use alcohol, NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory medications), or stay in the sun too long.
        • You have to avoid alcohol and being in the sun too long.
        No alcohol related info.No alcohol related info.
        Food
        PlaquenilAravaMethotrexateSulfasalazineChloroquine
        • Take Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) with food or milk to help decrease nausea. Do not break or crush the pills.
        No food related info.No food related info.
        • Swallow tablets whole, and take after a meal with a full glass of water.
        No food related info.
        Kidneys and liver
        PlaquenilAravaMethotrexateSulfasalazineChloroquine
        • If you have heart, eye, liver conditions, or psoriasis, talk to your doctor to see if Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) is right for you.
        No kidneys and liver related info.No kidneys and liver related info.
        • Severe hypersensitivity reactions can include internal organ involvement, such as hepatitis (liver), nephritis (kidney), myocarditis (heart), blood abnormalities, or pneumonitis (lungs).
        • Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine) isn't a good option if you have kidney or liver disease.
        No kidneys and liver related info.
        Upsides and benefits
        PlaquenilAravaMethotrexateSulfasalazineChloroquine
        • Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) has been shown to improve physical function in up to 80% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) is commonly used for lupus in children because of less side effects compared to other medications.
        • Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) helps minimize joint damage. It can also decrease symptoms and future complications.
        • Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) is a good choice for people who have difficulty tolerating newer biologic medications.
        • A generic form of Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) is available.
        Coming soon
        • Recommended as first line treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.
        • Available as a generic medication. Comes as a tablet, an injection that you give yourself weekly, and as an infusion that you get in your doctor's office or at an infusion center.
        • If you accidentally take too much, there's an antidote to help your body recover.
        • When taken consistently, Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine) can control your symptoms of ulcerative colitis and other bowel diseases.
        • Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine) is usually used in combination with other medications to control rheumatoid arthritis.
        Coming soon
        Downsides and risks
        PlaquenilAravaMethotrexateSulfasalazineChloroquine
        • You will likely have to take additional medications to keep your rheumatoid arthritis in control.
        • Some people may develop eye problems, so you’ll have to get your eyes checked often.
        • Depending on what you're being treated for, it can take up to 6 months for the full benefits of Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine).
        • Many people have nausea, stomach cramps, and diarrhea when they first start taking Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine).
        • If you have heart, eye, liver conditions, or psoriasis, talk to your doctor to see if Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) is right for you.
        Coming soon
        • You have to be on birth control for at least 2 to 3 months after you finish Otrexup (Methotrexate) since it can cause birth defects.
        • You have to avoid alcohol and being in the sun too long.
        • You'll have to get blood tests done if you're taking this long-term because it can cause harmful side effects.
        • You need to have blood tests every 3 months when taking Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine).
        • Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine) isn't a good option if you have kidney or liver disease.
        • Can't take Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine) if you are allergic to aspirin or sulfa medications.
        • Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine) shouldn't be used if you are breastfeeding.
        Coming soon
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        PlaquenilAravaMethotrexateSulfasalazineChloroquine
        • It can take Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) several weeks to start to take effect. Take the medicine for the full length of time that your doctor has instructed, even if you feel better.
        • Take Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) with food or milk to help decrease nausea. Do not break or crush the pills.
        • While taking Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine), it is important to wear sunglasses in bright light to protect your eyes from damage. When you can’t avoid sunlight, be sure to use sunscreen and wear a long-sleeved shirt, pants, and a hat.
        • Don't drink alcohol while taking Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine). Alcoholic drinks can lead to liver problems while taking Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine).
        • Certain medications can interact with Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine), so to be safe, tell your doctor about other medications and supplements you may be taking.
        Coming soon
        • Don't use alcohol, NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory medications), or stay in the sun too long.
        • Use birth control and avoid pregnancy for at least 2 months (for women) and 3 months (for men) after you finish Otrexup (Methotrexate).
        • Drink plenty of liquids to stay hydrated while taking this.
        • Take the medication exactly as your doctor or pharmacist tells you. Call your doctor or pharmacist if you're confused.
        • Don't use if you are allergic to sulfa drugs or aspirin.
        • Swallow tablets whole, and take after a meal with a full glass of water.
        • Drink at least six glasses of water daily while on this.
        • Continue to take Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine) even once you feel better.
        • Read the information that come with your medication in the drugstore since there are many conditions you should be aware of before taking Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine).
        • Can cause an orange color in your urine or skin.
        Coming soon
        Learn more
        More about PlaquenilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        Have you used Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it
        More about AravaSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
        Have you used Arava (leflunomide)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it
        More about MethotrexateSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
        Have you used Otrexup (methotrexate)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it
        More about SulfasalazineSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
        Have you used Azulfidine (sulfasalazine)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it
        More about ChloroquineSide effectsFDA package insert
        Have you used Aralen Phosphate (chloroquine)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it