Hydroxychloroquine Uses, Dosage, How to Take, Side Effects and Interactions

What is Hydroxychloroquine? Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), sold under the brand name Plaquenil among others, is a medication used for the prevention and treatment of certain types of malaria. Specifically it is used for chloroquine sensitive malaria. Other uses include treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and porphyria cutanea tarda.

What is the dosage for Hydroxychloroquine?

  • The usual adult dose for treating malaria is 800 mg initially, followed by 400 mg 6-8 hours later and then 400 mg at 24 hours and 48 hours. The dose for malaria prevention is 400 mg every week starting 1 or 2 weeks before exposure and for 4 weeks after leaving the high risk area.
  • The recommended adult dose for rheumatoid arthritis is 400-600 mg daily for 4-12 weeks followed by 200-400 mg daily.
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus is treated with 400 mg once or twice daily for several weeks then 200-400 mg daily. Hydroxychloroquine should be taken with food or milk in order to reduce stomach upset.