Plaquenil is in fact an antimalarial, strange as that sounds. Antimalarials have been known to help with lupus for over 100 years. Plaquenil is very well tolerated by most people with no long term side effects except in rare instances. It isn't an immunosuppressant. Those are the drugs that are used for transplant patients or treating cancer ( in higher doses than those used for lupus)
Plaquenil helps stop the disease from spreading and helps especially with skin, joints and fatigue. It reduces the incidence of flares. It has numerous other beneficial side effects such as slightly thinning the blood, reducing cholesterol, and reducing the risk of developing diabetes.
Almost everybody does take it as a first line drug and it's all some people need to control their lupus. People who need other drugs usually continue with the Plaquenil as a base; people in remission are often advised to continue with the Plaquenil.
It is most astonishing to have been diagnosed and not been put on Plaquenil. Astonishing is a polite word.:hehe: