Plaquenil Withdrawal

Saturday was a week since I stopped taking Plaquenil, aka Hydroxychloroquine, per my doctor’s instructions, and I think I am going through some form of withdrawal.

Plaquenil is used in the treatment of sarcoidosis but its main use is in the treatment of malaria. One of the side effects of taking the drug is that it affects eye sight, and eye tests, especially field of vision tests need to be done every six months.

For the four years that I took the drug, my eye sight never bothered me and bi-annual eye tests revealed no changes. As a matter of fact, my eye sight improve slightly. The only change was that I needed reading glasses now, but that happens to most people anyway when they hit their late forties.

I stopped the drug last week Saturday and last Monday night I developed a terrible migraine, and I have intermittent headaches all week. Add dizzy spells and some joint and tendon pain, and I think I am going through withdrawal. My eyes are also a little funny. Seems that I am having trouble focusing a bit.

Hope this all goes away in the next week or two, but I guess I answered my own question last week about if there are withdrawal effects from stopping the drug.

11 thoughts on “Plaquenil Withdrawal

    • Hi and welcome. It was my sarcoidosis doctor that stopped the drug, and I too asked about coming off slowly, but he want to stop completely because my white blood count was dropping monthly. I retake a blood test in two weeks to see if my blood count increases. This way they know it is that particular drug.


      • Oh I was going to ask why you stopped but you just explained it here. You better tell him immediately about the withdrawal side effects so he can prescribe you something else for it or something.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I’ve been on plaquenil for about two weeks. It took about 7 days before I found myself itching everywhere on my body. The doctor told me today that I should top taking it because he felt the 20 mg of prednisone was okay for now. Not a big fan of plaquenil.


  2. I was off of Plaquenil for 20 days. Yesterday was the worst. I couldn’t open up my fingers or un-bend my arms. I was off of it because of a so called shortage. My eyes have been terribly un-focused and I have been in pain for most of that time.I was put on Imuran during this time, which I felt did nothing to stop the pain of R.A.A I was thinking Plaquenil was not helping with my symptoms, but I was so wrong! We have just received a shipment of it here and I started back on it. I wondered if anyone else experienced this much pain. THanks for posting


    • Holly, sorry you are having such ahard time. I know I was in pain and discomfort for a couple of weeks and it eventually went away, but I suppose because you have RA, it made your situation worse. Hope you feel better soon or they get a new supply of the drug.


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