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Hydroxychloroquin and acid reducers

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#1 enjoytheride


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Posted 03 February 2011 - 01:33 PM

I decided to call the program that my health insurance uses for chronic illness. There I spoke to a lovely RN who asked lots of questions to "enroll" me in their program.

One thing she mentioned was that any form of antacid will reduce the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquin so these medications should taken a couple of hours apart.

I did not realize this. But I have found that the famotidine I've been taking worked better if I took it an hour or so before I eat. The consequence of this is that I no longer took it with the hydroxychloroquin which should be taken with food. But I had done it for a couple of years.

Some of my doctors have been poor at explaining how the medications they prescribe work- also when and how they should be taken. It often seems the last thing that happens is the doctor writes a prescription and off I go directly. I try to remember to ask the pharmacist about the different meds but they don't deal with the combination of meds unless asked directly. I also read the information that comes with the pills but it is not complete.

I just wanted to let everyone who might need this information about the conversation with this nurse. It might be something to ask your doctor.

#2 Margaret


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Posted 03 February 2011 - 03:45 PM

Hi Everyone,

I did not know this and my son gets both at the same time....with his supper. Interesting....maybe I should move the Plaquenil to bedtime.

Have a good day, Everyone.

#3 martinisweetie7


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Posted 03 February 2011 - 06:01 PM

Wow, I did not know this at all. I was just placed on Plaquenil, and all I was told was that it would not interfere with any of my other medications. The doctor never said anything about it's effectiveness being reduced by others. Thank you very much for that informative tidbit!


~ Jo

#4 enjoytheride


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Posted 03 February 2011 - 11:42 PM

Well- I'm researching this further. I got to thinking that an "acid reducer" might not be the same as an "antacid." I did ask the nurse about this and she said that all acid reducing medicines do this. But I looked up the drug interaction information on the web and it said that the problem was that hydroxychloroquine was "absorbed" by the antacid. I don't think that acid reducers work like that.
But I did find out that magnesium reduces the dissolution of hydroxychloroquine so no more taking a vitamin-mineral pill together with the hydroxychloroquine.
It's all so difficult. I wish there was a magic web program where a person could enter all their meds and it would give a schedule for best results.
Anyway I'm still doggedly going after this information. If I can resolve it, I will ask the gastroenterologist at my next appointment at the beginning of March.
I'm beginning to think I need a 36 hour day to optimally space the meds I'm required to take.

#5 enjoytheride


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Posted 04 February 2011 - 01:16 AM

I have spent most of the day checking the internet and I think it is only antacids (like Tums, Maalox, etc.) that effect hydroxchloroquine. I found warnings about those products but nothing on acid reducers.

I'm sorry if I mislead anyone- I should have been more careful to check out information even if the person seemed to be an authority.

#6 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 10:46 AM

Hi Enjoy,

You are right that only antacids react with plaquenil, not acid reducers, at least for the main ones that I checked on drugs.com. On drugs.com (which is one of our approved sites for linking in the forum), you can look up all your medications and the drug interaction listings are especially nice.

An interesting thing is that antacids (like Tums) can interact with acid reducers (making the acid reducer less effective). So don't take anything for granted when looking up interactions, and look up all your over the counter (OTC) medications, as well. If you think this requires changes in timing or dosage, check with your pharmacist and/or doctor if you have any doubt at all as to whether such changes would be okay.
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
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International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
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The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#7 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 03:23 PM

Interesting thread. Yesterday my doctor prescribed me an antibiotic that the chemist flagged up as a no-no with methotrexate so gave me a different antibiotic. Good thing someone picked it up eh?

Take care.
Amanda Thorpe
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#8 Sweet


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Posted 04 February 2011 - 04:29 PM

I didn't realize this either! THANK YOU! :emoticon-hug:
Warm and gentle hugs,

ISN Support Specialist
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#9 enjoytheride


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Posted 05 February 2011 - 12:10 AM

Today I decided to call the nurse back and check with her to make sure. I left a message and she did call me back to tell me she checked with their drug interaction site and couldn't find any issue with hydroxychloroquine and any acid reducer. So it's OK with those.
I too spent a great deal of time with various web sites and their drug interaction programs. The result is that I did learn a few things. The magnesium interaction was one. I had been taking the hydroxychloroquine doses with half a vitamin mineral supplement that had magnesium in it. I decide to take it at different times.
Oh well- life is a never ending learning experience. And a never ending unlearning experience too.