View Full Version : Plaquenil brandname versus hydroxychloroquine?

11-07-2003, 10:48 PM
Can anyone share any experience or knowledge about potential differences between plaquenil (brand name) and hydroxychloroquine (generic)? Any response appreciated!

11-10-2003, 11:56 AM
Plaquenile is a Hydroxychloroquine! Plaquenil is just a brand name. Like Motrin is a brand name for Ibuprofen. Hydroxychloroquine is an anti-malarial medication which is active against malaria. But it is used to treat SLE rashes and skin lesions. It is usually given in doses of 200 to 600 mg daily and should be taken after meals.
The most worrying side effect is visual disturbance, which affects the retina and may occur after high dosage (more than 400 mg/day) or if taken for several years (generally over 8 yrs). Your doctor will recommend routing eye tests. You should always wear sunglasses outdoors and tell your doctor if you see light flashes or streaks, notice a decreased field of vision, suffer from night blindness or problems focusing.
I hope that I have been helpful :lol:

11-10-2003, 05:38 PM
Dear SaySusie (and all),
Thank you for your reply and your support :D . I love this site! I also appreciate the info about the meds. I guess my question is a little more specific than I made it sound. I was on plaquenil for 2 yrs and went into remission. Within a month of switching to the generic version (hydroxychloroquine) I developed a mean malar rash and lots of discoid lesions as well as hair loss. That lasted 2 years. I am back on the brand name as of a week ago and just read in Dr. Wallace's "Lupus Book" that some studies show differences in tolerance and efficacy between the generic and brand names. Most insurance companies won't cover the brand name, but is there is a difference (however small), we Lupies should know about it!
Thanks again!
batgirl (as in sun sensitive, not as in blood sucking 8)

11-14-2003, 11:27 AM
????? DUH :?
You have stumped me on this one. In all of my research, I can find nothing that differentiates Plaquenil from Hydroxychloroquine. Everything that I've found just says that plaquenil is a brand name for hydroxycholoroquine!!!
Sowwy :oops:

11-14-2003, 11:45 AM
Thank you for looking! I have been reading your replies to others and you are a true source of knowledge, wisdom, and support! thank you for your time

11-15-2003, 10:24 PM
You are so very welcome! It is, as I've said, my pleasure and my dedication to provide information, support and encouragement as long as (and as much as) I can!!


04-11-2004, 03:42 AM
I am also confused with this!
A relative of mine who has RA swears that the brand name works so much better for her!.... I am thinking of switching especially bc. the plaquenil isnt helping THAT much....anyone try it combined w/ quinacrine?

06-12-2004, 07:30 PM
My doc says that some of her patients have more stomach upset with the generic than the brand name. I take the generic because I have no insurance and it's so much cheaper, but luckily haven't had any problems with it.

09-12-2004, 04:02 PM
yup it's allllllllllll the same. plaquenil is just the name brand. i've been on hydrocloroquine (plaquenil) for over a year now. :)

12-04-2004, 10:50 PM
A friend who is a pharmacist said that generics can use different inactive ingredients and that can affect absorption and efficacy in some people due to the fact that we all have minor differences in our digestive tracts. I also read Dr. Wallace's book in which he says he uses the brand name vs. generic if the generic doesn't work first. Hope that helps.

12-07-2004, 08:06 AM
Thank you so much for clearing that up for us :lol: I was getting really confused!! So, the brand name is a pure form and the generic uses a kind of filler I guess!! Anyway, it is good to know that there is a difference so that we can make an informed decision with our doctors.
Again, thanks

12-07-2004, 11:47 AM
I'm responding to my response, all medications have inactive and active ingredients. The active ingredients are the ones we want and the inactive just help our body absorb the active ones. But some inactive ingredients will work better that others and vice versa. I suppose it's possible for some people to have better luck with the generic than name brand. For most people it shouldn't matter but for some it will. You just have to try and see if you can use the cheaper generic. The active ingredients are supposed to be identical in both. Hope I was able to clarify.

04-15-2005, 02:48 AM
I did not respond to generic either. I have always been under the impression that the argument lies in the Active vs. Inactive Ingredient issue. Generic medications, although the basic premise is the same, uses different binding agents, sugars, and colors, which may impact its effacacy in some patients. Yes, it is the same MEDICATION that is being delivered, but it is being driven in a slightly different car, so to speak. My mother is also a LUPUS survivor, and found the same problems as I, and you, did. In my humble opinion, this is one situation where the generic does not mirror the brand name very well. Hope this helps! Be well.