Hydroxychloroquine comes as a tablet to take by mouth. If you are an adult and taking hydroxychloroquine to prevent malaria, one dose is usually taken once a week on exactly the same day of each week. You will begin treatment 1 to 2 weeks before you travel to an area where malaria is common and then continue during your time in the area and for 4 weeks after you return. If you are an adult and taking hydroxychloroquine to treat malaria, the first dose is usually taken right away, followed by another dose 6 to 8 hours later and then additional doses on each of the next 2 days. For prevention or treatment of malaria in infants and children, the amount of hydroxychloroquine is based on the child's weight. Your doctor will calculate this amount and tell you how much hydroxychloroquine your child should receive.
If you are taking hydroxychloroquine to treat lupus erythematosus (DLE or SLE), it is usually taken once or twice a day. If you are taking hydroxychloroquine to treat rheumatoid arthritis, it is usually taken once or twice a day.
Swallow the tablets whole; do not split, chew, or crush them.
Hydroxychloroquine tablets can be taken with a glass of milk or a meal to decrease nausea.
Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take hydroxychloroquine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
If you are taking hydroxychloroquine for symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, your symptoms should improve within 6 months. If your rheumatoid arthritis symptoms do not improve, or if they worsen, stop taking the drug and call your doctor. Once you and your doctor are sure the drug works for you, do not stop taking hydroxychloroquine without talking to your doctor. Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis will return if you stop taking hydroxychloroquine.