What does Plaquenil do to your eyes?

Plaquenil binds to retinal pigment cells, causing adverse changes in vision that occur slowly over time. Objects may start to appear blurry or distorted. In the most serious cases of Plaquenil-induced retinal toxicity, the macula is completely destroyed.

Can hydroxychloroquine affect the eyes?

Patients usually complain of difficulty in reading, decreased vision, missing central vision, glare, blurred vision, light flashes, and metamorphopsia. They can also be asymptomatic. Most patients have a bull’s eye fundoscopic appearance.

Does Plaquenil help dry eye?

Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) has been widely used in rheumatic diseases. Some pSS patients are also receiving HCQ treatment. Studies have shown HCQ can significantly alleviate the symptoms of dry mouth, dry eyes, and joint pain in pSS patients and can also reduce circulating inflammatory factors.

Is Plaquenil a high risk medication?

Using Plaquenil for a long period of time may harm the retina, causing serious vision loss. People with retinal damage from Plaquenil are not aware at first that they are losing vision.

Does hydroxychloroquine blur vision?

As with all medicines, some people may experience side effects from taking hydroxychloroquine. The most important side effect of hydroxychloroquine is on the eye. Blurred vision may occur in the first few weeks after starting hydroxychloroquine. This usually returns to normal even when you continue taking the tablets.

How does hydroxychloroquine cause retinopathy?

Hydroxychloroquine retinopathy causes destruction of macular rods and cones with sparing of foveal cones. This pattern provides the typical bullseye appearance. RPE migrates into the areas of destructed photoreceptors, causing pigment laden cells to be detected in the outer nuclear and outer plexiform layers.

How common is retinal toxicity with Plaquenil?

Hydroxychloroquine retinal toxicity is far more common than previously considered; an overall prevalence of 7.5% was identified in patients taking HCQ for greater than 5 years, rising to almost 20% after 20 years of treatment.

How often do you need eye exams on Plaquenil?

Patients starting treatment with Plaquenil should have a baseline eye examination within the first year of taking this medication and then regular screenings thereafter; every six months or yearly as advised by your eye doctor.

Does Plaquenil affect sleep?

Even anti-malarials, such as hydroxychloroquine, can cause sleep difficulties and strange dreams. Taking such medications earlier in the day can be helpful in mitigating these effects.

Is Plaquenil a steroid?

Plaquenil isn’t an immunosuppressant, steroid, or blood thinner. But Plaquenil is considered a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD). Immunosuppressants are a group of drugs that lessen the activity of your immune system.