Plaquenil is a commonly prescribed medication for inflammation, but it can cause eye damage. If you’ve taken Plaquenil and experience vision changes, Ashvini Reddy, MD, and her experienced ophthalmology team can evaluate you at Athena Eye Institute in San Antonio, Texas. They offer Plaquenil screening to detect eye and vision problems before significant vision loss occurs. Schedule an appointment with Athena Eye Institute over the phone or online for a screening today.
Plaquenil, or hydroxychloroquine sulfate, is a medication used to treat inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or Sjogren’s syndrome. It helps control symptoms associated with inflammation, such as joint pain, mouth or skin sores, and rashes.
But a side effect of Plaquenil is it can damage your eye’s retina, which is tissue near the back of your eyes associated with light sensitivity. Long-term Plaquenil use and retinal damage can lead to vision loss.
Vision loss associated with Plaquenil is permanent, which is why routine Plaquenil screenings are important.
Seeing Dr. Reddy and her team regularly for screenings can detect retinal problems early before serious vision problems occur, as you might not notice early symptoms until permanent vision loss is present.
You’re at risk of retinal damage from Plaquenil if you:
Your risk of retinal damage also increases if you’ve lost a lot of weight while taking Plaquenil.
If your doctor prescribes Plaquenil to reduce inflammation, see Dr. Reddy and her team before you begin taking the medication for a baseline assessment.
Schedule eye exams each year while taking Plaquenil or every six months if you’ve taken the medicine for five years or longer.
During Plaquenil screening, Dr. Reddy reviews your medical history and completes a comprehensive eye exam to detect signs of retinal damage.
She may complete visual field tests, optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging, other imaging procedures, or multifocal electroretinography (ERG) to analyze retina structure and function. You might look through special lenses during vision exercises.
After your Plaquenil screening, Dr. Reddy lets you know if you have retina damage. If so, you should stop Plaquenil treatment and your primary care doctor can find another treatment for your chronic disease.
Dr. Reddy offers vision correction and minor surgical procedures to repair retinal damage or your vision when necessary.
If you’re taking Plaquenil, don’t neglect your eyes. Schedule routine Plaquenil screenings with Athena Eye Institute over the phone or online today.