I was told I didn't have to taper it like prednisone, and that I shouldn't expect any rebound type of reaction like you get when your body adjusts to being off pred. But everyone is taking a different mix of drugs and maybe you're taking something I don't that would make your doctor's recommendation for you different. Does plaquenil reduce rheumatoid arthritis Plaquenil side effects when starting Damage to the retina, the light sensitive portion of the inner eye, can occur with long-term use of Plaquenil or chloroquine Aralen. With Plaquenil, however, the most commonly prescribed anti-malarial, this sort of damage occurs only in 1 out of 5,000 people who take the drug for five years or more. I would assume from this that people had sudden and quite severe flares when stopping the plaquenil. There is always the chance that some people might interpret this as withdrawal, but I think it is probably always in the eye of the beholder. Hard to determine what other people are going through and not worth seeing who it right or wrong. Finally, my rheumatologist recommended that I stop taking the drug altogether.” Utterback’s rheumatologist also referred her to neuro-ophthalmologist David Katz, MD, in Bethesda, Md. “We don’t know which patients might develop Plaquenil retinopathy, but the patient often can see it before the doctor can,” he says. Again, I was surprised at how much relief I was getting and I noticed it almost immediately. The first time I did it was about 6 months after starting it because I didn't think it was doing anything for me. Turns out that the benefits come on so slowly that I didn't realize it was helping. Second time was maybe a year or so ago when I thought maybe I was getting a little better - and because of potential eye effects I thought I should try to eliminate it if possible. Abruptly stopping plaquenil Stopping Plaquenil? DailyStrength, Let me tell you what weaning down from Plaquenil is like. Plaquenil pregnancy safety Aug 28, 2012 Plaquenil hydroxychloroquine takes a long time to get out of the system - up to 18 months. Be certain you and your physician agree you should discontinue it. HealthTap does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For these services, please use HealthTap Prime or Concierge. See Additional Information. What happens if I stop taking plaquenil hydroxychloroquine.. Protecting your eyesight when taking Plaquenil Lupus.. Plaquenil Oral Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures.. Plaquenil’s long half-life in the body can cause irreversible and progressive damage, Dr. Fung said. Similarly, one study reported that 16 women who’d taken hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, or a combination of the agents, showed no improvement seven years after stopping drug therapy, and progression occurred in six of the cases. 2 I was prescribed plaquenil for Sjogrens about 5 years ago by my rheumatogist. I too was afraid of the side effects and didn't realize that the disease would worsen, so I just didn't take the plaquenil. Two years later I began having pericarditis attacks and wound up in the hospital. Stop taking hydroxychloroquine and call your doctor at once if you have trouble focusing, if you see light streaks or flashes in your vision, or if you notice any swelling or color changes in your.