I've been on it two years and just had another appt with the Optho. He said I dont have two of the higher risk factors (i.e. I'm not overweight and I'm only on 400mg) and so far my tests have all been good. He didnt do the visual field this time, but did do other tests and a split lamp exam which he said I passed with flying colours (no pun intended
) So I am to look at my Amsler grid once a week and also check my red coloured object weekly (apparently if it changes tone of red it can be a sign of a problem). If they are ok come back in a year
so I've been able to cut down on at least one doc visit in the next year
I've been taking plaquenil for at least 14 years...400mg/day. I get annual complete vision checks with visual field testing, and there hasn't been a hint of any retinal problems. Hope this eases some fears of those that also take it
I have been on plaqunil since february,it has been doing wounder for my daily ability but i have been having a blurry vision when reading my paper very close but i can read it when put a far...iam not sure if it has any thing to do with med. any way i willcontinue to take it and i willsee my rheumy in december.thanks a lot for the info,:lol:
I have been on plaquenil 400mg/day for the last 10 years and have 6 monthly field tests for the last 4 1/2 years - no deterioration to date. Hope that helps. I have required reading glasses for a couple of years now and I am reliably told that age is against me and not the lupus (i'm 46).:more:
I have been on Plaquenil for about 6 years now, 400 mg a day and get regular eye checks. No problems either. I am just getting the usual age-related eye problems. I wear progressive eye glasses and they work great. Sometimes at night when driving I notice that I am sensitive to the headlights of oncoming cars.
Many years ago(1990),I was on high doses of prednisone(60mgs)for a year due to a serious flare(nephritis & ITP).
I did develop cataracts,had surgery to remove the cataracts & lens implants in 1995.
I am now on plaquenil and have been on it for a few years. My eyes are checked regularly. Every 4 months,I have a visualization test and office follow up by my opthamologist.
Glad to say that there have been no more eye problems. I did have cellulitis twice (2001)because of a lupus flare but recovered with no serious damage.
I do wear reading glasses due to my age,(58 yrs old).
I was on Plaquenil for less than 2 years; 400 mg.daily and was dx with Retinal Toxicity about 2 weeks ago by an optometrist, opthamologist and conculsively, by the Retinal Specialist. I'm not in a risk category either.
I was taken off of the plaq because it was deteriorating my vision. Once off it my vision seemed to go almost back to normal. You HAVE to have the 3 month checks from what I understand, as soon as there is a problem, if they jump on it , it isn't so bad.
I was also recently taken off of Plaquenil. My Optometrist discovered some change in my retina (left eye). I went to see several specialists and it was determined that I do have Plaquenil Retinopathy.
I had noticed blurry vision out of my left eye but that is my "bad" eye anyway so I just thought I would get a new prescription. Unfortunately, there is no prescription to fix the blurry vision from the damage. I hope that over time the problem will fix itself. In the meantime, Plaquenil if off limits.
My 84 year old mother is taking plaquenil for lupus and has found out that she has the retina problems. Anyone else have this problem? Does a person just quit right away? No tapering? Are there other medications that can be taken instead?
I'm sorry to hear about your mother's bad luck with Plaquenil. The usual advice is to stop at once - Plaquenil doesn't cause dependency so no withdrawal symptoms per se, although of course she might find lupus symptoms returning. But really her doctor should be advising.
The alternative is an old fashioned anti malarial called Quinacrine in the USA and Mepacrine in the UK. It used to be called Atabrine.
It was superseded by Plaquenil for anti malarial prophylaxis so now it has to be obtained from a compounding pharmacy or hospital pharmacy who purify the chemical and make it into pills.
It makes an excellent alternative to Plaquenil for SLE and there is no risk of retinal toxicity. If you meet with resistance, we can provide references to its use. Some doctors simply do not know about it.
Unfortunately I haven't heard of any other countries where it is available except perhaps in teaching hospitals with lupus experts in a clinical setting.
If it is not available the next choice are the disease modifying drugs Imuran ( azathioprine ) or Methotrexate.
Well all I can say to the above posts is "OH BUM". I have been taking plaquenil for 5 yrs, just last year I noticed that when I looked out of my left eye only, writing would be distorted or if I was looking at anything circular then " 11 0'clock" would be missing. Perhaps I will go back to my doc and kick him up the bum and get him to refer me again!
I have been taken off plaquenil because they think it has caused retinal toxicity and also have just had a cataract removed - the result of steroids. So I do agree with the former posts which said have your eyes checked regularly