Monday, July 13, 2020

About Plaquenil, Your Retina & Side Effects

Plaquenil is a medication that was originally used to prevent or treat malaria, a serious but rare disease caused by bites from infected mosquitoes. It turns out that this drug is helpful in treating inflammatory diseases such as certain types of inflammatory disease. Inflammatory disease occurs when the body's immune system attacks its own healthy tissue. Some diseases treated with Plaquenil include:
  • Lupus, which causes fever, rashes, skin problems, and other symptoms.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis, a condition that causes pain and swelling in the joints of your hands and feet.
  • Sjorgren’s Syndrome, which causes dry eyes and dry mouth.
Plaquenil lowers your immune system’s ability to cause inflammation. This can help control symptoms like rashes, skin and mouth sores and joint pain. However, Plaquenil has side effects that can affect your eyes. A rare side effect of Plaquenil is damage to the eye's retina, which is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. Using Plaquenil for a long period of time may harm the retina, causing serious vision loss. People with retinal damage from Plaquenil are not aware at first that they are losing vision. Unfortunately, once they lose a severe amount of vision loss, it is permanent.

If you take Plaquenil, it is very important to see an eye doctor who can examine your retina and provide any other testing and imaging, to check your retina for problems before serious damage occurs. Please schedule an eye exam with eye doctors at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or

If you are someone you know has not had a recent eye exam, please schedule an appointment at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, a leading eye care center in Birmingham located at UAB-Highlands, 1201 11th Avenue S, Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205 and staffed by UAB Medicine eye doctors and eye specialists.