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Side Effects of Hydroxychloroquine

At this time, only vague side effect information is available for hydroxychloroquine. Side effects may include dizziness or a spinning sensation, hair loss, headaches, and weight loss. While most side effects of hydroxychloroquine are mild, some are potentially serious and should be reported to your healthcare provider immediately, including easy bruising, hearing loss, or muscle weakness.

An Introduction to Hydroxychloroquine Side Effects

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with hydroxychloroquine sulfate (Plaquenil®). However, not everyone who takes the medication will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with hydroxychloroquine. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of hydroxychloroquine side effects with you.)

Hydroxychloroquine Side Effects to Report

There are a number of possible side effects with hydroxychloroquine that you should report immediately to your healthcare provider, including, but not limited to:
  • Psychotic thoughts or behaviors (such as hallucinations or delusions)
  • Seizures
  • Hearing loss
  • Muscle weakness or numbness
  • Any vision changes (hydroxychloroquine can cause severe and permanent eye damage)
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Frequent or severe infections
  • Signs of heart problems, such as swelling of the ankles, shortness of breath, or an irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:


    • An unexplained rash (hydroxychloroquine can cause severe, life-threatening rashes)
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Unexplained swelling (especially of the lips, mouth, or throat)
    • Wheezing or other breathing problems.


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Hydroxychloroquine Medication

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