New research finds that measuring blood levels of the medication hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) in people with lupus may be an effective way to predict risk of retinopathy, a disease which results in impaired or complete loss of vision.
Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil®) is the most prescribed medication in the treatment of lupus and has numerous benefits including prevention of flares, prolonged survival, and other positive outcomes. Medication non-adherence is reported in up to 80% of people with lupus and is associated with reduced health outcomes.
One-quarter of systemic lupus erythematosus patients in the U.S. taking hydroxychloroquine tablets daily are exceeding the recommended doses for this treatment, and up to one-third of those on alternate-day treatment are forgetting or mixing up their medication, a study reports.
The problem, researchers say, is that only 200 mg tablets exist – and many patients are prescribed a 300 mg dose. New dosage forms are needed to ensure proper treatment, researchers recommend.