Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is a drug used to treat and prevent malaria and a variety of autoimmune disorders. Its potential side effects include gastrointestinal upset, skin rash, neuropsychiatric reactions, and, though rarely, possible serious heart or liver damage. Knowing the risk factors associated with HCQ side effects is an essential part of providing safe care to patients.
Most common side effects of HCQ
Gastrointestinal side effects are the most common for HCQ, occurring in about 8-17% of patients. The most common symptoms to watch for include nausea, vomiting, anorexia, abdominal discomfort, and diarrhoea. Patients should be advised to drink lots of fluids and avoid fatty foods to help mitigate such symptoms. If the side effects become frequent, patients should stop taking the medication or switch to an alternate form.
Skin rash as its effects
Skin rash is another common side effect of HCQ, which is estimated to affect up to 10% of users. The most common type of rash is a central, reddish-brown macular eruption that can occur anywhere on the body and usually starts a few weeks after initiating the medication. In some cases, the rash can be itchy and is usually associated with flu-like symptoms, fever, and joint stiffness. In more extreme cases, a serpent-like rash can arise, which is typically red and can stretch over large parts of the body and is recommended to be evaluated by a dermatologist.
Neuropsychiatric effects of HCQ are less common, though some studies have indicated that the incidence may reach up to 5-7%. Anxiety, psychosis, insomnia, dizziness, headaches, and mood swings may all occur due to this drug. Patients should be made aware of such potential side effects, as they may be the first signs of a more serious reaction.
Finally, though very rare, serious heart or liver side effects can occur with hydroxychloroquine 200mg tablet use. For example, cardiomyopathy (heart muscle weakening), conduction disturbances, and other cardiac arrhythmias, as well as hepatotoxicity (potential liver toxicity), have all been reported in patients taking this medication. It is critical that patients with any pre-existing cardiac or liver conditions have regular check-ups to ensure that their organ function is not affected by the medication.
In conclusion, HCQ has many potential side effects, including gastrointestinal upset, skin rash, neuropsychiatric reactions, and serious heart or liver damage. Knowing the risk factors associated with HCQ side effects is an essential part of providing safe care to patients. Patients and healthcare professionals should work together to monitor for any signs of adverse reactions and make sure appropriate treatment is given in any such cases.
What are the most common side effects of HCQ?
Gastrointestinal side effects are the most common for HCQ.
What are the most common gastrointestinal symptoms?
most common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, anorexia, abdominal discomfort, and diarrhoea.
What is another common side effect ?
Skin rash is another common side effect of HCQ.