Plaquenil is the brand name for hydroxychloroquine sulfate. This drug come is generic form also. Many have found that Plaquenil does work better for them than the generic drug.
All generic medications must undergo certain tests to compare them to brand-name medications. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) then looks at these tests to decide if the generics are equivalent to the brand-name medications and assigns each generic a rating. An "AB" rating means that the FDA has determined that a generic medication is equivalent to a brand-name medication. All of the generic hydroxychloroquine versions currently available have an "AB" rating, meaning they should be equivalent to Plaquenil.
However, generic medications are allowed to have different inactive ingredients than the brand-name medication. This might include fillers or dyes or other ingredients that may cause problems for people with allergies or sensitivities. It is these additional fillers, dyes, or other ingredients that have been found to cause adverse reactions to generic hydoroxychloroquine sulfate.
Nausea and diarrhea are the most common side effects of Plaquenil. This nausea can last for several weeks before it calms down. Also, Plaquenil is a cumulative drug, meaning that it can take weeks or months before you see and significant results with the use of Plaquenil. Unfortunately, there are no real substitutes for Plaquenil itself. There are alternative treatments, but every medication comes with its own set of side effects. Your doctor may be amenable to Prednisone or one of the immunosuppressive drugs. There is a lot of information here about both types of medications (start by reading the stickys at the top of each forum). Educate yourself about these (and possibly other) treatments so that you can have an informed discussion with your doctor about which ones might work best for you.
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