Between 0.1 and 1.0% of patients can notice some changes in pigment i.e. lighter or darker areas of skin. However Lupus itself can also cause changes in skin pigmentation and I've certainly had that and it was much worse before starting Plaquenil.
Between 0.01 and 0.1% of patients can develop liver problems or various blood disorders
Hope this helps, it comes from our pharmaceutical benefits scheme info in Australia.
Hello All, I had dark pigmentation on my skin from lupus, mainly arms ,shoulders and sometimes face . this medication did make it much more noticeable, and it appeared in other places after starting this med.hope this helps regards june
It is well known that Plaquenil can cause blue/black changes in pigmentation in oral mucous membranes but I hadn't realised that the skin darkening referred to sometimes also meant blue-blackish rather than a tanned effect. It seems it can also cause hair darkening - a bleaching effect is quite often experienced and commented on here.
(Info from an LFA webchat with Dr V Werth a top USA connective tissue disease specialist dermatologist)
It can cause various changes in the blood: aplastic anemia, leukopenia and even thrombocytopenia.
I suspect these side effects are extremely rare otherwise they would be mentioned more often not only in the medical material but we would also hear more often about them on the forum. As a comparison, the yellowing of the skin caused by the alternative antimalarial Quinacrine is always mentioned and the effects on blood that can be caused by Imuran are always strongly stressed and the consequent need for frequent blood tests.
Noticing a change in skin colour hardly necessitates an urgent Monday morning call to a doctor, nor, in my non medical opinion, do fears about blood abnormalities. I am wondering why you think your blood might have been affected in any of these ways ? Have you had a recent check up with a full blood count ? I know you are having a hard time lately and feel very anxious. Could your fears be an expression of generalised acute anxiety? I sometimes get so anxious that everything is coloured by fearfulness.
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