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. It is taken by mouth.
Common side effects include vomiting, headache, changes in vision and muscle weakness. Severe side effects may include allergic reactions. It appears to be safe in pregnancy but this use has not been well studied. Hydroxychloroquine is in the antimalarial and 4-aminoquinoline families of medication.
Hydroxychloroquine was approved for medical use in the United States in 1955. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system. The wholesale cost in the developing world is about $5.40 to 7.44 per month. In the United Kingdom this dose costs the NHS about £5.15. In the United States a month of treatment typically costs less than $25. In 2016 it was the 135th most prescribed medication in the United States with more than 4 million prescriptions.
Natural Food Sources
- Citrus Fruits (especially the rind)
- Black Pepper