Pol. Merkur. Lek (Pol. Med. J.), 2016, XL/237: 202-206 Maximize

Pol. Merkur. Lek (Pol. Med. J.), 2016, XL/237: 202-206

Title: Current view on chloroquine derivative treatment from rheumatologist perspective and possible ocular side effects 

Authors: Pawlak-Buś K, Gaca-Wysocka M, Grzybowski A, Leszczyński P. 

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Current view on chloroquine derivative treatment from rheumatologist perspective and possible ocular side effects

Pawlak-Buś K1,2, Gaca-Wysocka M3,4, Grzybowski A3,4, Leszczyński P1,2.

1Department of Rheumatology and Rehabilitation, Laboratory of Metabolic Bone Diseases and Tissue, Medical University, Poznan; 2Department of Rheumatology and Osteoporosis Hospital, Poznan; 3Department of Ophthalmology, Hospital, Poznan; 4Department of Ophthalmology, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn

Anti-malarial drugs specifically hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) or chloroquine (CQ) are very effective in treating and preventing the symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus and other connective tissue diseases. These medications have shown to improve joint and muscle pain and arthritis, skin rashes, fatique, fever and also to control systemic signs of lupus as pericarditis or pleuritis. Shortterm and long-term treatment reduce cholesterol and have anti-platelet effect with decreasing risk of cardiovascular disease. The lupus patients on anti-malarials have also lower risk of cumulative organ damage due to reduce the amount of steroids. They may help to decrease lupus flares, mortality and are the key to controlling lupus long term outcome. Some lupus patients should be on anti-malarials for the rest of their life. For this reason, the key question is weather these drugs are absolutely safe and can be long term used in all lupus patients as a background therapy? Potential non-specific side effects occur very rare and are usually minor and last for short period. The major concerns are retinal deposits damage which could be potential reversible especially during hydroxychloroquine treatment. Nevertheless, ophthalmologist examination is still needed before starting to take HCQ or CQ and at to follow-up visits every 6-12 months. In conclusion it seems that anti-malarials are safe and have more clinical benefits than risks and from rheumatologist point of view should be more widely use in all lupus patients.

Key words: anti-malarial drugs, systemic lupus erythematosus, treatment, side effects

Pol Med J, 2016; XL (237); 202–206