Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention. Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking hydroxychloroquine: Incidence not known Some side effects of hydroxychloroquine may occur that usually do not need medical attention. Chloroquine cytotoxic falicparum Fda approval chloroquine-primaquine Taking Plaquenil long-term or at high doses may cause irreversible damage to the retina of your eye. Stop taking Plaquenil and call your doctor at once if you have trouble focusing, if you see light streaks or flashes in your vision, or if you notice any swelling or color changes in your eyes. Hydroxychloroquine Plaquenil was originally used to treat malaria and is now used mostly to treat rheumatological and dermatological diseases. Its most frequent use now is for Rheumatoid Arthritis RA and Lupus and is often very effective in mitigating the joint and arthritic symptoms these diseases can cause. This means that the side effects of Plaquenil are mild and infrequent compared with its potential benefits. As with any medication, allergic reactions including skin rashes and non-allergic reactions can occur. The side effect that is of greatest concern is retinal toxicity. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. How does plaquenil affect the retina Rx Side Effects New Plaquenil Guidelines and More., What can Hydroxychloroquine Plaquenil do to my eyes? Ms and plaquenil Aug 14, 2017 Plaquenil can cause serious side effects when used in high doses for chronic diseases such as RA over the long term. The New Zealand Dermatological Society recommends that to decrease the risk of retina damage, no more than 200mg of Plaquenil should be taken a day, and a dose of 400mg per day should be taken no longer than a few weeks. Long-Term Side Effects of Plaquenil for Rheumatoid Arthritis.. The Risk of Retinal Toxicity with Plaquenil. Wrong Hydroxychloroquine Dose Is Common, Putting Eyes at Risk.. The most important affect of Plaquenil on your eye is to damage the retina at the back of your eye. Fortunately, this is very uncommon and generally only occurs in patients on high doses or patients with bad kidney function. More in Eye Health. If you are taking Plaquenil to treat an inflammatory condition or malaria, you should be aware of the side effects that may occur to your eyes and vision. Plaquenil hydroxychloroquine is in a class of drugs called disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, which are used to decrease inflammation, pain and joint damage. Damage to the retina, the light sensitive portion of the inner eye, can occur with long-term use of Plaquenil or chloroquine Aralen. With Plaquenil, however, the most commonly prescribed anti-malarial, this sort of damage occurs only in 1 out of 5,000 people who take the drug for five years or more.