View Full Version : Is Plaquenil safe in pregnancy?

05-28-2008, 11:08 AM
I just found out I'm pregnant :shock: . Totally unplanned. I have a 12 year old son and thought I was done with having kids...guess not! Anyway, I've been taking plaquenil since February. I take what looks like a small dose (200mgs day) and honestly am not very good about taking it recently because I really don't feel like it's done anything (my arthritis is as bad as ever and the rash went away briefly only to come right back). I stopped all my meds as soon as I found out (I also take Ritalin, Synthroid and Lamictal) but I've read most of the damage is done in the first trimester. Has anyone gotten pregnant while taking plaquenil and if so, did everything turn out ok?

05-28-2008, 02:20 PM
Congrats Kimmers

I have no idea about the plaquenil and pregnacy. Some one else here may be able to answer that. You should let your doctor know right away and you could call the pharmasist and ask about the plaquenil.

It takes a long time to build up in the system so I'm assuming it would also take along time to work its way out of the system.

05-28-2008, 06:03 PM
Hi there - My doc and my sisters have said they recommend to continue Plaquenil in pregnancy. It seems to vary and depend on the doc. I think things are changing and everyone has a different opinion.

Most important : Call you doc! They know your health best and that is the most important thing. Plus, I don't know about your other meds, but going off some meds suddenly can cause problems, so talk to doc about this, too.

P.S. My brother was 13 when our little 1/2 sis was born. My other sister was 16 and I was almost 19! She's 12 now and I love having her around. She's the best!

Pretti in Pink
05-28-2008, 06:32 PM

I don't know about the plaquenil but congratulations on the pregnancy. I wish you all the best.

05-29-2008, 07:52 AM
Thanks everyone. I see my ob/gyn today and have calls in to both my psychiatrist and rhum.

05-30-2008, 07:41 AM
Just in case anyone ends up in this situation...I talked to the ob yesterday, Plaquenil is fine while pregnant.

05-30-2008, 07:55 AM
Info I found...

From Hopkins-arthritis.org

Women on prednisone were more likely to have hypertension and diabetes, as would be expected. The physician caring for a woman with lupus who wishes to become pregnant must review her medications. Prednisone is largely metabolized by the placenta, and is unlikely to cause any fetal malformations, but will increase the risk of diabetes and hypertension in the mother. Some immunosuppressives, such as imuran (azathioprine) have been continued during lupus pregnancy when necessary to control maternal lupus. Cyclophosphamide should never be used during pregnancy because of the high risk of important birth defects. Because of potential teratogenicity, Coumadin should be switched to heparin as soon as the woman knows she is pregnant. ACE-inhibitors, because of effects on fetal kidney development, should be stopped as soon as the woman knows she is pregnant. NSAIDs are usually allowed during the first trimester only, because of potential adverse effects on the fetal ductus arteriosus. Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) has a good safety record in lupus pregnancy, and is usually continued if needed to control maternal lupus.

Use of Plaquenil during pregnancy should be avoided except in the suppression or treatment of malaria when, in the judgment of your doctor, the benefit outweighs the possible hazard. This drug may appear in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If Plaquenil is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until your treatment is finished.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the safety for both mother and fetus of antimalarial drugs, i.e., chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, in pregnant patients with lupus who continued antimalarial drugs throughout pregnancy. Stopping antimalarial drugs can precipitate disease flares of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), which are known to be detrimental to the outcome of pregnancy in patients with SLE. Stopping antimalarial drugs during pregnancy therefore not only puts the mother's health at risk but can also compromise the outcome of pregnancy. METHODS: We document 9 pregnancies in 8 patients with lupus, all of whom took hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) throughout pregnancy. All 9 pregnancies, which occurred since our first report in 1988, resulted in 9 live births (4 full term and 5 preterm). RESULTS: No congenital abnormalities occurred and mean followup of 33 months (range 10-72 months) revealed no abnormalities in these children. Temporary discontinuation of hydroxychloroquine for 1 month precipitated a flare of disease in one mother, documented both clinically and serologically. CONCLUSION: It is safer to continue hydroxychloroquine rather than to discontinue this drug simply because of pregnancy.

05-30-2008, 08:24 AM
Thank you! That's pretty much what they told me...that they want me to take as little medication as possible (I'm only staying on plaquenil and the thyroid meds). Plaquenil doesn't appear to cause any problems and it is a "safer risk" that attempting to carry a child through a lupus flare.

06-21-2008, 10:52 AM

I found this website to be really helpful in making my decisions for Imuran and Plaquenil.

I know someone who is taking both right now during her pregnancy and so far so good at 22 weeks along

06-26-2008, 04:44 PM
Congrats on the pregnancy! Good luck and I"m glad to hear the med is safe so you don't have to worry about what it could have done to the baby.