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Disease worsening due to influenza.

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I just experienced almost two weeks of flu with fever, and I have the impression that my symptoms from systemic sclerosis became much worse during my disease. It does make sense in a way, but I just wanted to check if anyone else recognized this.


Since I started with Plaquenil in the beginning of November my fingers and hands were much better, initially I had problems with Carpal tunnel symptoms and numbness/swelling of my fingers in the mornings. My doctor said it’s not due to regular Carpal tunnel symptoms, but to leakage of the small vessels causing numbness and swelling. During the flu everything became much worse, I even felt numbness of my arms and I could not feel almost anything in a couple of my toes. I hope things will go back to normal again once I’m well. Another thing I wonder is if there are others experiencing no or little sensation in toes. It’s not an entirely new symptom just much worse now than before. 

When I google I find out that Plaquenil belongs to Dmards and has an immune-modulatory effect, and where I live it is classified as immunosuppressant which entitles you to free of charge flu-shots. Nevertheless I got the flu and I know this can happen; that the shot does not offer 100% protection. But does anyone know if Plaquenil makes you more susceptible to infections in general? Or is it just in theory?



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Hi Inibini,


I'm sorry to hear that you've suffered two weeks of flu and fever, which must have been very unpleasant. 


I've never taken plaquenil, so can't advise you from my own experience; however, many immunosuppressants  (by their very nature) can increase susceptibility to infections, so in your case, it's possible that the medication did make your symptoms worse.


The best person to advise you is your consultant, who prescribed the medication.


Kind regards,

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