Plaquenil
Alternatives

(hydroxychloroquine)

Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine)

Prescription only

Arava (Leflunomide)

1 of 4 alternatives
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.

No information currently available
Upsides
  • 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.
No information currently available
Downsides
  • 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.
No information currently available
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
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Side effects
The Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Arava (Leflunomide) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and warnings
  • Pregnancy

    Women of childbearing age

  • Damage to retina of eye

    Higher doses

    ...and 4 more risk factors

  • Heart problems

    Taking other medicines that cause disruptions in heart rhythm

    ...and 1 more risk factors

See more detailed risks and warnings
No information currently available