Use this Hydroxychloroquine dose calculator for assessing a proper dose for patients treated for malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. Even though the drug itself rose to fame during the 1st COVID-19 wave in the Spring of 2020, neither hydroxychloroquine nor chloroquine has been proven effective against this virus. 😷

Read on to track down all the hydroxychloroquine side effects, its traditional use, and the FDA cautions regarding COVID-19 interventions.

We'll also cover the detailed instructions on Plaquenil dosage by weight.

What is hydroxychloroquine used for?

Hydroxychloroquine, sold under the name Plaquenil, is a drug taken by mouth, used to treat various autoimmune and parasitic diseases.

Hydroxychloroquine inhibits stimulation and activation of some cells that play a significant role in inflammatory reactions. Multiple mechanisms allow hydroxychloroquine to slow down inflammation in the human body - one of them includes changing the composition of the inside of the immune cell.

We still don't know why hydroxychloroquine works in the malaria parasite.🤷

One of the theories assumes that this drug can "force" the parasites to accumulate toxic substances inside their bodies, instead of expelling them. The parasite's cells fill up with dangerous waste that finally leads to their entire organisms' death.

Hydroxychloroquine is used in the treatment of the following diseases:

  1. Malaria

    • Hydroxychloroquine malaria dosage: max 5 mg/kg (older recommendation: 6.5 mg/kg)

    This drug can be used in all types of parasites (Plasmodium) that cause malaria in humans. Unfortunately, these organisms are slowly becoming resistant to this drug. ❌

  2. Lupusu, rheumathoid arthritis

    • Hydroxychloroquine lupus dose: 400 mg/day200-400 mg/day after few weeks

    Medicine has used this drug to treat autoimmune diseases since 1834!

  3. COVID-19

    • Hydroxychloroquine dose for COVID-19: not recommended

    Emergency use authorization in the US has been revoked. Recent studies showed that the hydroxychloroquine does not decrease the risk of dying due to COVID-19 and increases the risk of fatal heart arrhythmias at the same time. ❌

  4. Lyme disease

    It is used for the treatment of infectious joint inflammation.

You already know all the crucial information regarding the hydroxychloroquine dose; it's time to move on to something new!

Hydroxychloroquine side effects

Hydroxychloroquine is a drug that is connected to a variety of side effects and safety concerns. Benefits of the treatment should always exceed the risk of the possible complications.

🔅 Our tool works also as a Plaquenil toxicity calculator; it informs you about the risk of the most dangerous hydroxychloroquine complication - retinopathy, connected to the administered hydroxychloroquine dose.

This drug may cause:

  • Dangerous heart arrhythmia, especially in people with long QT syndrome.
  • Blurred vision and problems with looking at far and close objects.
  • Retinopathy - probably reversible loss of sight, loss of color sight. Seen in patients that use hydroxychloroquine chronically. Extremely rare - an irreversible loss of sight. This side effect may occur even after stopping the hydroxychloroquine use.
    • Treatment with dose ≤ 5 mg/kg: 10-year risk: 2%, 20-year risk: 20%
    • Treatment with dose >5 mg/kg: 10-year: 10%, 20-year: 40%
  • Allergy, swelling that may cause difficulties in breathing.
  • Vomiting, diarrhea, stomach ache.
  • May cause fetus malformations.

Happy with our hydroxychloroquine/Plaquenil dose calculator? Check our other tools for infectious diseases:

How to calculate the hydroxychloroquine dose?

The maximum dose of hydroxychloroquine reported in the 2016 Ophthalmology guidelines is 5 mg/kg.

Our hydroxychloroquine dose calculator uses the following equations:

Your patient's maximum dose = Weight * 5 mg/kg

Your custom dose per kilogram = Daily dose / Weight

where:

  • Weight is given in kg.

Let's make it even more straightforward with a short, useful example:

Our patient weighs 70 kg. We're currently giving him 400 mg of hydroxychloroquine per day.

70kg * 5 mg/kg = 350 mg - so our patient's maximum dose is 350 mg.

400 mg / 70 kg = 5.71 mg/kg - our custom dose per kilogram is equal to 5.71 mg/kg. This value exceeds recommended dose of 5 mg per kg.

Łucja Zaborowska