Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate

Drug Class: DMARDs
Brand Names: Plaquenil


200 to 600 mg per day in one or two doses.

Dosages for children: The dosages listed above are those typically prescribed for adults aged 18-65. Dosages for children can vary. Ask your doctor about the appropriate dosage for your child.

Potential Side Effects

Abdominal cramps; blurred vision; diarrhea; headache; increased sun sensitivity; itching; loss of appetite; nausea or vomiting; rash.

Special Instructions

Minimize exposure to sunlight and wear sunscreen.

Take with food or milk to avoid stomach upset.

Be Aware

Your doctor should order periodic blood and urine tests to check for unwanted effects. Before taking any DMARD, tell your doctor if you are planning to become pregnant.

In rare cases, high doses or long-term use of hydroxychloroquine sulfate may cause changes in the central part of the eye’s retina. Tell your doctor if you have any eye problems, including any retina disorders, or if you have blurred or worsening vision; ringing in the ears or hearing loss; unusual bleeding or bruising; blue or black skin discoloration; muscle weakness. Rarely, hair loss and mood changes can occur. You should have an eye exam when you start taking this drug and on a regular basis (every 1 to 2 years) thereafter. 

Learn more how the possible use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 symptoms is causing access challenges for people with arthritis.


The Arthritis Today Drug Guide is meant for education – not self-medicating. Arthritis Today, the Arthritis Foundation and the Drug Guide Medical Review Panel do not endorse any products mentioned in this guide. While we endeavor to keep the information up to date, we make no representations or warranties about the completeness of the information provided.