What should I do if I have experienced side effects from hydroxychloroquine?It is important to mention any unexpected symptoms to your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible. Some side effects go away over time as your body gets used to a new drug, so your doctor may recommend you stick with your current plan for a little longer. In other cases, you may be able to lower your dose or try a different drug.
There is more than one brand of hydroxychloroquine available and each has a slightly different formulation. Some people with lupus report that they experience fewer side effects when taking certain brands.
Which brand is best?There isn’t a particular brand of hydroxychloroquine tablets that will be best for every individual with lupus. It must always be remembered that all people with lupus have varied presentations of symptoms and react to medications differently. It is important to find a brand that suits you personally.
I’ve heard some people react badly to Quinoric®?We are aware of a lot of anecdotal evidence from people with lupus that many experience adverse effects from Quinoric® branded hydroxychloroquine tablets. The adverse effects from Quinoric® that some have noted can include gastrointestinal upset, nausea or general ‘flare’ symptoms.
It should be noted that this is not the experience of all lupus patients taking this particular brand of hydroxychloroquine and in fact, some people with lupus may report fewer adverse effects when taking this brand compared to others they may have tried.
Why are there differences between the brands?All brands of hydroxychloroquine prescribed for the treatment of lupus use the same amount of the active ingredient (hydroxychloroquine) but their formulations may vary due to different fillers or dyes. It may be these fillers/dyes that can cause different reactions between people with lupus.
Why can I no longer get Plaquenil®?Plaquenil® was the brand of hydroxychloroquine which was previously most commonly supplied by pharmacies in the UK. In summer 2015 Sanofi-Aventis Medicine (the manufacturers of Plaquenil®) ‘de-branded’ the drug to generic. This meant that Plaquenil® branded hydroxychloroquine was no longer available.
Any prescriptions that stated ‘hydroxychloroquine sulphate 200mg (Plaquenil)’ or ‘hydroxychloroquine sulphate 200mg’ would then be supplied by whichever brand the pharmacist had available.
What should I do if I react to Quinoric® brand hydroxychloroquine?There are other brands of hydroxychloroquine that are available. If you previously received Plaquenil® and know that you can tolerate it, there is now the generic brand version with the same formulation available called Zentiva®. Another brand with a different formulation is also produced by Blackrock Pharmaceuticals. Please always bear in mind that people with lupus respond to drugs differently – these brands may not necessarily be more suitable for any given individual.
What if my pharmacist cannot obtain my preferred brand of hydroxychloroquine?Zentiva®
If your pharmacist has any difficulty obtaining Zentiva® branded hydroxychloroquine, the product description is: "HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE SULPHATE (ZENTIVA) 200MG FILM COATED" and the 'PIP number' (product code) is 1201730. If for any reason they cannot find the product on their system they can ring the customer service line on 0800 854 430.
If your pharmacist has any difficulty obtaining Blackrock Hydroxychloroquine Sulphate 200mg it is still available and the product information can be found at www.creopharma.com. Creo Pharma can be contacted at +44 (0)1371 822022 for any further information that may be required. Pharmacists can access Blackrock Hydroxychloroquine Sulphate 200mg direct to pharmacy from Alliance Healthcare by quoting ‘PIP number’ (product code) 116-9523.
Last updated 05/04/2017