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starting on hydroxychloroquine

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Hi all,

Saw my rheumatology consultant today,

She is increasing my methotrexate and starting me on Hydroxychloroquine

Is anyone else on this combination and how have your symptoms been since starting ?

At the moment she is at a bit of a loss as to how to control my symptoms as I have several overlap immune conditions and she isn't sure which symptom is coming from where.


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Hi Diana,


I've never taken either Methotrexate or Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) so can't advise you from my own experience although I understand that it can take a couple of months before any benefit from Hydroxychlorine can be noticed.


However, I've included links to our medical pages on Hydroxychloroquine and Methotrexate to give you some more information. I've also found a thread on Plaquenil and Methotrexate where several of our members are discussing the two medications. I know that we do have many of our members who have experience of both medications and hopefully they will be along with some first hand advice for you.


Please do let us know how you get on with that combination of medications.


Kind regards,

Jo Frowde

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International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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Hello Diana


I was on hydroxychloroquine (also known as plaquenil and here in the UK Quinoric) and found it made a real difference in pain and fatigue levels. On a good day about 30% improvement and 20% on a bad but, hey, improvement of any quantity is great!


It does take 3 months of regular dosage before it starts to work and I was on the maximum dose of 200mg twice a day. However it caused me abdominal pain and I mean real pain not just a bit of discomfort. I stopped it for a time then started again but the pain came back within a few days, I stopped then started on a reduced dose but the pain came back after a day. I tried to persevere with the abdominal pain but it showed no signs of diminishing, was so bad that I had to take to bed and in the end I was just swapping one pain for another!


I recommend giving it a try because if it works, it works but be aware you may have side effects.


As for methotrexate, it may take about 4-6 weeks for side effects to go and any benefits to start. Now that I feel so awful I wonder if immunosuppressants did help me, I certainly felt better on methotrexate than I do now but, alas, had to stop due to side effects starting again and not subsiding. It is worth trying the methotrexate increase, in my opinion as a non medical layperson!


Take care and keep us posted!

Amanda Thorpe

ISN Sclero Forums Senior Support Specialist

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International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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I have been on both of those medications. Not at the same time, with methotrexate I had that for two years tablets and self injection forms and eventually came off it because I was sick when I took it and it wasn't making a big enough difference to warrant being sick so much. I didn't have any side effects to hydroxychloroquine and was on that and MMF ( mycophenalate mofetil) combination which didn't work and I am now off both of them. Just because it didn't work for me doesn't mean it won't for you. They are at a loss with me at the minute because my body seems to be rejecting all meds thrown at it.


Hope it works and stay positive :)


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