Her rheumatologist instructed her to undergo a baseline ocular examination prior to initiating Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine, Sanofi-Aventis) therapy. Toxic maculopathy associated with chloroquine use was first documented in the literature five decades ago.1 In the United States, Plaquenil––an analog to chloroquine––is used to treat a variety of conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and several distinct inflammatory disorders. Although the incidence of macular toxicity is infrequent with Plaquenil use (at a dosage of 200mg or 400mg q.d.), its visual impact can be devastating. When should you take plaquenil Should users of hydroxychloroquine take cholesterol-lowering medications Hydroxychloroquine is a well-tolerated medication for various rheumatologic and dermatologic conditions. Its main side effects are gastrointestinal upset, skin rash, headache, and ocular toxicity1. Within the eye, hydroxychloroquine can adversely impact the cornea, ciliary body, and retina1 Thus, the possibility of toxicity should not be disregarded and close monitoring of the ocular findings is required. As a precaution, patients treated with Plaquenil are advised to get a baseline eye exam prior to starting the drug and then annually thereafter Of course the aim is avoid drug related retinal toxicity, which on ophthalmic examination, appears as the classic Bull’s eye change affecting the macula. Once retinal toxicity from hydroxychloroquine occurs, it is thought that the retinal changes are permanent and the disease can progress even if hydroxychloroquine is stopped for 1 to 3 years. Initially, central visual acuity may be unaffected, but the patient may notice related paracentral scotomas that often interfere with reading. The associated classic retinal toxicity is described as a bull’s eye maculopathy (ring of depigmented retinal pigment epithelium that spares the foveal area). Hydroxychloroquine toxicity eye exam Wrong Hydroxychloroquine Dose Is Common, Putting Eyes at Risk., The Risk of Retinal Toxicity with Plaquenil Hydroxychloroquine cystic fibrosisPlaquenil and discoid lupus s dosage What does Plaquenil/hydroxychloroquine do to your eyes? The retina is the film in the back of your eyes. CQ and HCQ can both cause maculopathy or retinopathy. Prior to modern diagnostic techniques, your eye doctor was looking for bull’s eye maculopathy with a dilated exam. Plaquenil - Eye Doctor MD. My Take on New Ocular Screening Guidelines for Plaquenil RheumNow.. What can Hydroxychloroquine Plaquenil do to my eyes?. Remember, any patient who is at a high risk for Plaquenil toxicity should be examined on an annual basis following the baseline exam. The goal of monitoring/screening is to identify early macular damage prior to irreversible vision loss or even before visible signs of bull’s eye maculopathy. Plaquenil Eye Exams. Plaquenil, also known as hydroxychloroquine, is a medication used in the treatment or prevention of malaria. It has also been used to treat other conditions, such as liver disease, that may have been caused by the same parasites that cause malaria. Plaquenil has also been used to treat the symptoms of arthritis. Feb 20, 2018 Focus on Eyes Long-term Plaquenil intake can affect your vision. For this reason, patients who are taking Plaquenil should have at least one eye exam a year to screen for toxicity.