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Hydroxychloroquine

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Hydroxychloroquine Adult

Hydroxychloroquine - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Hydroxychloroquine cause?

Side effects may occur when taking Hydroxychloroquine, but the majority of these effects tend to resolve spontaneously. Common side effects include:

  • Nausea, vomiting and stomach upset (Can be minimized by taking Hydroxychloroquine after food or with milk)
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Skin rash
  • Skin pigmentation
  • Hair changes (Bleaching or thinning of hair)
  • Transient blurring of vision (This usually resolves spontaneously in one to two weeks)

Consult your doctor or pharmacist about any symptoms that becomes bothersome.

Before taking Hydroxychloroquine, what precautions must I follow?

Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have G6PD (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase) deficiency or porphyria (group of diseases in which substances called porphyrins build up, negatively affecting the skin or nervous system), as Hydroxychloroquine may not be suitable for you.

Come back to the hospital for regular blood test as instructed by your doctor.

Your doctor also may suggest regular eye exams while taking this medication. Visual changes experienced early on or seen early during regular eye exams usually improve after stopping the medication.

Because adverse effects can happen at any time during the course of treatment and some side effects may not cause symptoms, it is really important that you have your regular blood and eye test. 

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Hydroxychloroquine?

​Hydroxychloroquine may interact with other medicine or supplement that you are taking. Inform the doctor, pharmacist or specialty nurse (such as dermatology or rheumatology) before starting any medicines and supplements.

Your doctor may reduce your dose when taken with medicines such as Tamoxifen (a medicine to treat breast cancer), as they might increase the chance of you experiencing severe side effects.

  • Updated on Friday, June 12, 2015
  • Article contributed by Department of Pharmacy, Rheumatology & Immunology Singapore General Hospital

    The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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