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Discussion:
How long did Plaquenil/Hydroxychloroquine take?
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Hi guys,

I was diagnosed with RA in April 08 and I'm 29 years old. My doctor was only able to find it after I requested a MRI of my hands.

He believed it was in the very early stages and not extremely bad so prescribed Plaquenil/Hydroxychloroquine since it is the RA drug with the least side effects he said.

I have been on Plaquenil/Hydroxychloroquine for about 6 weeks now and I have not noticed any improvement, in fact my RA has actually gotten worse.

My question is for those that have taken Plaquenil/Hydroxychloroquine. How long did it take for it to remove symptoms in your personal experience? I know I've read it can take up to 6 months but what I'm wondering is, do you just wake up one day and find it's kicked in 6 months down the road or more likely, it starts to work slowly over 6 months?

If you guys could give me some feedback I would really appreciate it as I'm trying to decide if this medication is working for me like it's supposed to.

Thanks!
Posted on 07/01/08, 12:41 pm
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Reply #1 - 07/01/08  2:02pm
" My RA doctor told me that plaquenil doesn't work to good by itself...So she put me on MTX as well...I hope this helps you... "
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Reply #2 - 07/01/08  4:55pm
" I take methotrexate injections weekly along with antibotic thereaphy of 200 mg of minocycline. Last week my doc added plaquenil to the mix. I have a pharmacist friend that says it can take up to a year to work, but once its kicks in it can be really good. I suggest you ask your rhuemie for additional help in the meantime. I have had RA going on 12 years, and originally way back when I ws given plaquenil alone and it did nothing. As an add on drug it may help, so quesation your doc. Good luck, marcia "
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Reply #3 - 07/01/08  5:09pm
" I was on Plaquenil with mtx but it did not work for me, actually made my inflamation go up. Right now all I am on is MTx while waiting for my insurance to approve Enbrel. For aching and stiffness I take 800mg Motrin. Evryone is different though. Tell your doc it doesnt seem to be working for you. "
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Reply #4 - 07/01/08  10:57pm
" Hydroxychloroquine along with 30 mg of Prednisone worked for me within 3 months and did a great job. However I had a side reaction- hallucination, so I came off the drug.

Plaquenil did not work as well for me,it took about 10 weeks before I saw some effect but again I had a reaction- my fatigue got even worse and I could not stay awake. But it has done well for my niece who has juvenile symptoms.

So far I am on MTX for over 4 months and it has worked well and I have had no observable reactions. "
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Reply #5 - 07/02/08  2:34am
" PQNIL WAS THE FIRST MED FOR ME AS WELL..
I TOOK THAT WITH PZONE..AFTER THAT, I WAS
PLACED ON SULFASALAZINE AND PZONE..NOW
I AM ON MTX FOR THE 2ND TIME. THIS TIME
I AM NOT ON PZONE..SO FAR SO GOOD. THIS
IS ALL TRIAL AND ERROR..THERE IS NO SURE
FIRE FORMULA FOR RELIEF..IT'S A MATTER
OF WHAT WORKS FOR YOU...

I HAD SOME DEGREE OF RELIEF ON PQNIL, BUT NOT ENOUGH TO SATISFY ME OR MY RHEUM...APPARENTLY, HE WAS STILL SEEING
SOME ACTIVITY..(MY 1ST DIAGNOSIS WAS
LUPUS AND IT IS NOT UNCOMMON FOR THE
2 TO MIMIC, COEXIST, ETC) I HAVE BEEN
TOLD BOTH..RA..LUPUS..RA..LUPUS..RA..
AND THAT'S WHERE WE STAND TODAY..

THE AGGRIVATION OF DISCOMFORT CAN BE
OVERWHELMING. SOME DAYS ARE BETTER
THAN OTHERS..JUST HANG IN THERE..BE
OPEN AND PROACTIVE ABOUT YOUR CARE..
IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS...ASK!!..IF YOU
HAVE CONCERNS..VOICE THEM!! EACH MED
WILL HAVE PROS AND CONS..IT BOILS DOWN
TO WHAT YOU ARE WILLING TO PUT UP WITH
IN THE SEARCH FOR THE RIGHT COMBINATION.
GOOD LUCK..GIVE YOURSELF A LITTLE TIME..
6 MONTHS SOUNDS A BIT EXTREME TO ME..
BUT..TRY TO BE PATIENT..
WISH THE BEST!!
TAM "
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Reply #6 - 07/02/08  8:26am
" I'm the same as Irene - my doc has me on Plaquenil as an enhancement to Methotrexate - I'd recommend heading back to your doc - is this a Rheumatologist? If not get a referral to one. Best of luck to you...Lisa "
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Reply #7 - 07/02/08  11:14am
" I'm on plaquenil alone, I'm trying to hold the line and put off methotrexate as long as possible. The Plaquenil is supposed to kick in in 3 to 6 months. I think it was 8 months for me. One day I was congratulating myself for getting so many things done and I realised that the days had been getting better without my noticing.
In the beginning I also was on a low dose of prednisone, which helped until plaquenil kicked in. "
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Reply #8 - 07/02/08  11:53am
" My doctor put me on MTX along with Hydroxychloriqin and said the Hyd. would take at least 6 mos. to work. The MTX kicked in after about 6 weeks until I had to go off everything for surgery. Now I'm starting over again. "
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Reply #9 - 07/03/08  9:22am
" I started Plaquenil this past April and just noticed in the past few days that it has kicked in. Prior to this I was on MTX, but had a reaction. I also use Enbrel, every few weeks. I have gone almost 2 weeks wo an Enbrel shot and doing much better than in the past. In the past, I would have been extremely sore and unable to move much. My immune system has become really compromised on the Enbrel, so trying to take it only when I absolutely have to. Hope this helps. "
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Reply #10 - 07/09/08  8:49am
" Plaquenil was one of the first treatments i had too - again i was told it needed to be used with other meds. I think i had it for a year and then moved onto more 'tough' stuff. I have just started taking it again as now have drug induced lupus and as yet can't say its working. I keep trying tho - and realise the only way to control this beastly disease is by taking meds and different cocktails of them. Thank god for prednisolone too!! "

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