Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Group

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, inflammatory, multisystem, autoimmune disorder. It is a disabling and painful condition which can lead to substantial loss of mobility due to pain and joint destruction. The disease is also systemic in that it often also affects many extra-articular tissues throughout the body including the skin, blood vessels, heart, lungs, and muscles... The symptoms that distinguish rheumatoid arthritis from other forms of arthritis are inflammation and soft-tissue swelling of many joints at the same time (polyarthritis). The joints are usually affected initially asymmetrically and then in a symmetrical fashion as the disease progresses. The pain generally improves with use of the affected joints, and there is...

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How long did Plaquenil/Hydroxychloroquine take?

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!

Replies

deleted_user
deleted_user

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...
deleted_user
deleted_user

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
deleted_user
deleted_user

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.
deleted_user
deleted_user

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.
deleted_user
deleted_user

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
deleted_user
deleted_user

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
deleted_user
deleted_user

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.
deleted_user
deleted_user

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.
deleted_user
deleted_user

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.
deleted_user
deleted_user

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!!
deleted_user
deleted_user

Yea I tried the prednisone at 5mg once a dayfor a few days but I couldn't handle the side effects...

It jacked with my plumbing bad, couldn't hold an erection and started making me break out. I've been off it a few days and thankfully my plumbing is back to normal it seems and the huge acne has stopped/gone.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Since I'm a woman I managed to bypass the plumbing problems while on the prednisone (I'm on 30 mg), but you're right, the acne is BAD!! I can hardly look in the mirror without cringing. Considering the state my joints are in though, I suppose that's the least of my problems.

I've been on plaquenil for over 4 months and it hasn't done squat for me. Of course neither has the prednisone, sulfasalazine, or methotrexate. I see my rheumy again next week, so perhaps a biologic will be the answer...
deleted_user
deleted_user

yea I saw my rheumy today and he got mad when I brought up the antibiotic therapy I've been reading up on. He was willing to get me a script for Minocycline but he is not familiar with the ins and outs of how to take it for RA which is really frustrating.

Currently I'm trying to find a doctor familiar with the therapy in TX preferably around Austin. He told me that he knows the 9 other rheumys in Austin and none of them believe in this therapy, so I believe I'll need to look towards Houston. Hell I'll go out of state if I have to. From what I've been reading this therapy sounds like the real deal without all the jacked up side effects of all these other meds people take.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I love my Rheumy because he never dismisses questions like the one about antibiotic therapy. He said he's seen people have success with it..his theory is that antibiotics also have antiinflamotry affects. It may not hurt to find another opinion from a different RA doc. If you have insurance check the doc list and see if there's another in your area - dont take your current docs word for it.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I would say that your doctor ( RA doc ) Is working for you not the other way around and it is your body not his/hers....I figure were there boss...They are the specialists yes...but we are not all alike there for all things don't work for everyone...You have to be willing to try...Your attitude can also help alot too....atleast thats how I feel...I am having some good benefits of energy so far from Enbrel ( 2 injections a week )....I am also on Methotrexate,Meloxicam ( for swelling ) on a regular basis...But I too just did a 9 day stint of Prednisone of 3 for 3 days 2 for 3 days and then 1 for 3 days...I started swelling to the point of no mobility quickly...don't know if it was my body fighting the new Enbrel med or not...I didn't have but a racing heart and then swelled up around my face for a couple days...did make me feel like the marshmallow man tho... Hope this helps!