If you’ve been watching the news lately, I’m sure you’ve seen the latest that Hydroxychloroquine might help ease the Covid-19 virus. This is a drug that I know A LOT about and I thought I would share some of my knowledge about this drug and hopefully help you make an informed decision should the need arise.
Hydroxychloroquine is generally used to treat Malaria which is an intermittent and remittent fever caused by a protozoan parasite that invades the red blood cells. The parasite is transmitted by mosquitoes in many tropical and subtropical regions.
In 2011, I was diagnosed with Felty’s Syndrome which is a rare, potentially serious disorder that is defined by the presence of three conditions: rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an enlarged spleen (splenomegaly) and a decreased white blood cell count (neutropenia), which causes repeated infections.
I was then put on Hydroxychloroquine and have been taking it twice a day ever since. I’m not sure what it does, but I can tell you if I don’t take it I literally can’t move without excruciating pain. It reduces my inflammation and without it I couldn’t do what I need to do to get through the day.
Things like typing on my keyboard, opening doors, turning on faucets and walking are all affected when I don’t take it. Sometimes I even lose my voice for weeks at a time because there’s a joint in the throat. It’s called the cricoarytenoid joint (CAJ), and it’s located near the vocal cords.
There can be side effects, but I have never had any issues with it of any kind. There is one important fact that you should know. You have to get your eyes checked yearly because it is known that some people who take hydroxychloroquine for more than five years and/or in high doses are at increased risk of damage to their retina, the light-sensitive layer of cells at the back of the eye. This is known as retinal toxicity or retinopathy.
Other Hydroxychloroquine side effects can be:
- headache, dizziness, ringing in your ears;
- nausea, vomiting, stomach pain;
- loss of appetite, weight loss;
- mood changes, feeling nervous or irritable;
- skin rash or itching; or.
- hair loss.
I wonder if people like me who take it daily wouldn’t be immune to the Covid-19 virus, but I don’t want to take the chance so I’ll be at home until this is over.