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 The Eye Care & Surgery Center 908-789-8999, or visit The Eye Care & Surgery Center or Facebook.
The Eye Care & Surgery Center is located in Westfield, Warren and Iselin NJ, an affiliate of Prism Vision Group.