Plaquenil, What it is and how it Affects Your Eyes
Often times when a patient is diagnosed with systemic conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sarcoidosis, Lupus, and other autoimmune disorders, a physician will prescribe Hydroxychloroquine, commonly known as Plaquenil. While it is beneficial in treating the listed ailments, it’s important to know that there is a small chance it can cause damage to user’s retina, a condition known as retinopathy.
Retinopathy can lead to sight loss so it’s important that you keep your doctor informed of any changes you experience in your vision. If you are using Plaquenil, The Wellish Vision Institute recommends regular eye exams to help catch any change that may be subtly occurring. Symptoms of retinopathy to be aware of are blind spots in your central vision, distortion of objects, blurring, light flashes and sensitivity, as well as colors becoming distorted and difficulty seeing at night.
- You may be at increased risk if you are taking Plaquenil and experiencing:
- Low body weight
- Extended duration of therapy
- Renal or hepatic dysfunction
- Taking a daily dose of more than 400mg
- Have taken a lifetime dose of over 1,000 grams
The doctors of Wellish Vision Institute are experienced in testing patients for early signs of Plaquenil side effects. Thorough tests include visual acuity examinations, distortion and color vision tests, central field of vision tests, and a detailed dilated retinal exam. If signs of abuse or side effects are detected, patients can be taken off the drug and see a stabilization of vision, but vision may have been permanently affected.
If you have been taking Plaquenil, thinking about taking the drug, or feel that you are at risk, please call The Wellish Vision Institute for a plan on how to best deal with the side effects of Plaquenil.