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  • Hydroxychloroquine

    I was off all RA medications for my entire first pregnancy. I felt very fortunate to do so well medication free. Since giving birth I have had some issues and often take 5-10mg of prednisone for a few days and then go off all meds again. She recently recommended I start taking Hydroxychloroquine. I'm not currently pregnant but would like to think about conceiving again in 6months - 1 year. I'd like to plan ahead accordingly. She tells me that hydroxychloroquine is perfectly safe for me to start taking now, and to continue it throughout my entire pregnancy (whenever that may be). I tried to find some scientific journals showing published data stating this but have not come up with much. Because I'm not having a bad flare I am hesitant to start this drug and continue on it, especially given my remission during my last pregnancy. The reason I consider it is that it takes months to work and see the benefit of its use. Do you have any available data on its safety when used throughout pregnancy? I believe my dosage would be 200mg 1-2 times a day. Are there any known long term effects on infants? Are there any published studies on its safety for pregnancy?
    Thank you!

  • #2

    At this time, there is no conclusive evidence at all that hydroxychloroquine is teratogenic. Thus far quite a few moms have been followed and no chloroquine-associated problems have been reported. So, thus far we don't have any evidence that it causes problem for the fetus, regardless of time of exposure, first through third trimester.

    If you decide to use this drug while pregnant, please register for one of the pregnancy registries available. This will help us and other moms with this same question. If you want to dig more out, go to PubMed and enter a search query for hydroxychloroquine and pregnancy. Then check out the abstracts on the papers.

    Tom Hale Ph.d.