Hydroxychloroquine is used to treat Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis. However, most commonly, Hydroxycholorquine is used as an anti-malarial drug. Malaria is a disease contracted through parasites, most commonly the mosquito, and targets the liver to gain access to the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, the malaria parasite targets red blood cells, where they then lay their parasitic eggs. The eggs eventually hatch, bursting and destroying the red blood cell in the process. By doing so, many important cells used in the process of oxygen transportation are destroyed. A key symptom of this is jaundice or yellowing of the skin and eyes. Additionally, Malarial symptoms are flu-like in nature often consisting of sweating, chills, fever, nausea/vomiting, fatigue, and headache. It is important to contact a healthcare provider with any concerns.
Hydroxychloroquine is a compound drug composed of many levels of structure. The molecular formula is as follows: C18H26CIN3O. In simplistic terminology, Hydroxychloroquine contains 18 carbon atoms, 26 hydrogen atoms, 3 cyanic iodide atoms, and 1 oxygen atom. It has a molecular weight of 433.95, and can commonly be found under the brand name ‘Plaquenil’.
Hydroxychloroquine is considered to be a safe drug when used as prescribed for intended purposes. Individuals taking this drug for an auto-immune disease or as treatments against Malaria should continue to take it as prescribed. However, the Food and Drug Administration recently administered a warning heading against the use of the drug outside of a hospital setting as well as purchase of the drug outside of a hospital setting.
The usual adult dosage for treatment against Malaria is 400 milligrams, once a week, and is not to be taken for longer than eight weeks. However, for a serious case of Malaria, 800 milligrams are initially given, followed by 400 milligrams 6 to 8 hours later, and then 400 milligrams consecutively once a day for a maximum of two days. It is to be noted that in addition to hydroxychloroquine, constant supervision from hospital staff as well as additional drugs are always necessary when treating any disease or virus.
Hydroxychloroquine is not a steroid but a DMARD (Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug). This means that the drug regulates the immune system to perform normally, as well as treating underlying conditions rather than symptoms. They do not target pain directly as a painkiller would, but rather target the disease itself to slow the spread. Over a period of weeks, a DMARD will reduce swelling, stiffness, and, likewise, pain.
In conditions such as Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis, the immune system becomes overactive and starts to attack the suffer’s body. Hydroxychloroquine does not necessarily lower the immune system but rather stabilizes it to function as it normally would. These drugs assist in not only regulation of the immune system, but protection against the body slowly destroying itself, its cells, and its structures.
People who should not take Hydroxychloroquine are as follows: people with kidney disease, liver disease, alcohol abusers, sufferers of psoriasis, people who are seizure prone, individuals with a blood disorder (porphyria), diabetics, patients with preexisting heart problems, people with a potassium or magnesium deficiency, and pregnant women.
Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are essentially the same drugs. However, the main difference is that chloroquine is less-preferred due to a higher rate of serious side-effects reported. One additional difference between Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine is what the drugs are used to treat. Unlike Hydroxychloroquine, Chloroquine is additionally used to treat infections that have spread from the intestines. Both of the drugs have an unfortunate side-effect of nausea, but Chloroquine also commonly presents the following additional side-effects: damage to the retina, deafness, tinnitus, loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. Side effects of Hydroxychloroquine are less severe and are as follows: headache, weakness, hair lightening, hair loss, dizziness, itching, and muscle pains.
At the moment, Hydroxychloroquine is on backorder. It is becoming harder to find, and individuals who need the drug are at a loss. There are sites online where you can purchase generic forms of the drugs (simply do a Google search for online prescriptionless drug distributors), but the quality and reliability of the product is unknown. It is recommended that, if you feel you need any drug-related treatment, you seek professional help from certified medical personnel.