Support when you need it
The Lupus Society of Illinois offers support on virtually any lupus related topics. Over the last few weeks, LSI has received several questions on everything from support groups, medications and physician referrals.
(LSI) Hydroxychloroquine or Plaquenil is very commonly used for lupus. It's considered to be an immune-modifying medicine. Generally two tablets are given together. An eye exam should be done once a year, although eye complications from long-term Plaquenil usage are infrequent; there rarely can be a dark pigment that forms around the macular area of the retina.
Recently, the cost for Plaquenil and the generic Hydroxychloroquine has increased substantially due to a shortage.
LSI was contacted about the problem and after some research have the following information to share:
If you do not have insurance, you can visit prescription assistance organizations like GoodRx.com. Input the drug information you're looking for and you can print out a coupon for reduced cost. The reduction may be significant. GoodRX.com
Talk to your doctor about switching from Plaquenil to the parent compound for Plaquenil, which is Aralen, or chloroquine. There are pros and cons to switching to the Aralen, which is widely used in Canada. Each PT who is suffering this price crunch should find out if it is cheaper and if so ask their doctors if appropriate.
You are also encouraged to apply for the Living with Lupus Grant - LSI's financial assistance program that provides up to $400 for lupus-related medical expenses. Download an application here.
If you have any lupus-related questions please contact the LSI's Navigator for assistance or call 312-542-0002