The Asthma Center

Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)

Hydroxychloroquine, or Plaquenil®, is an uncommonly prescribed agent amongst this group. Plaquenil® is a medication used to treat malaria and inflammatory disease of the skin and joints. It benefits some steroid-dependent asthma. While its exact mechanism is unknown, it may suppress the inflammatory response in the airways. Plaquenil® is used on a daily basis as an oral medication and is generally administered over a six month trial period before a response is noted. Side effects include nausea, vomiting and dizziness. Serious toxicity to the retina of the eye can occur rarely with this therapy after long term use at higher doses than that used for treating asthma. The Asthma Center specialists recommend baseline and follow-up eye examinations while on this medication.