Author Topic: Plaquenil, diarrhea and weight loss?  (Read 3452 times)

mshistory

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Plaquenil, diarrhea and weight loss?
« on: May 17, 2012, 07:30:07 PM »
I saw the GI doctor today (I am SO TIRED of seeing doctors  >:( ) and after our brief meeting, he has me scheduled for a colonoscopy and upper GI scope/biopsy! I am very underweight and do have chronic diarrhea, but gosh, this seems invasive as a first step in trying to figure out why. Has anyone had chronic diarrhea/weight loss from Plaquenil? I know it can be a temporary side effect for some, but I've been on it for a year. My rheumatologist nor the GI doctor have suggested alternate treatments to see if it could be the problem.

Maybe I'm grasping at straws because I just don't want to get scoped coming and going!!  ;D
SLE and SjS. ANA >1:1280 speckled,
SS-A >8.0, RF positive. Clonazepam, Zoloft, albuterol, Imitrex for migraines, CellCept 1500 mg, Plaquenil 200 mg, Restasis, Ocuvite, Zofran for nausea, Protonix, Gabapentin, Evoxac and Lortabs for pain. I'm a walking pharmacy.

quilt4fun

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Re: Plaquenil, diarrhea and weight loss?
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2012, 07:36:36 PM »
I've been on plaquenil for 2 years with no problems; but I have read that others do---
You can put plaquenil in the "search" box (upper right corner) and find out what others are  experiencing.
Age 64. PSS, Gerd, Kidney stones,  dry eyes, dry skin, borderline high cholesterol, osteoporosis. lung scar tissue,  Taking:  Plaquenil, Meloxicam, protonix, potassium citrate, fortical ,calcium+D,  Lovaza , genteel jel and theratears liquid  gel,    medrol and lacriserts

Scottietottie

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Re: Plaquenil, diarrhea and weight loss?
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2012, 07:36:50 PM »
Hi  :)

Plaquenil has certainly NOT caused me to lose weight. nI am heavier than I have ever been - and I eat way less than I used to.

Hope you get the answers you need.

Take care - Scottie  :)
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Skylar

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Re: Plaquenil, diarrhea and weight loss?
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2012, 07:48:42 PM »
I know you said that your initial tests for celiac disease were negative - are they going to biopsy your duodenum to be certain?

I've never had diarrhea or weight loss from Plaquenil but clearly there are people who can't tolerate Plaquenil's side effects and can't take it.  Have you tried taking a break from Plaquenil to see if your digestive problems clear up?

mshistory

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Re: Plaquenil, diarrhea and weight loss?
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2012, 08:34:27 PM »
I know you said that your initial tests for celiac disease were negative - are they going to biopsy your duodenum to be certain?

I've never had diarrhea or weight loss from Plaquenil but clearly there are people who can't tolerate Plaquenil's side effects and can't take it.  Have you tried taking a break from Plaquenil to see if your digestive problems clear up?

Yes, he is going to biopsy if there is any indication of CD (that was my understanding). I think the upper GI scope is going to send a camera into my stomach and small intestine, and samples will be taken if he thinks a biopsy is needed. He said the tests for CD have a specificity and sensitivity rate of 95%, so it's unlikely to be CD but still possible.

I've never stopped taking Plaquenil, because honestly, I'm too scared to stop taking something for my AI problems altogether. I've never had problems right after taking Plaquenil (like nausea) and I don't have diarrhea at night (or rarely do) after taking my second dose, so I don't think it would be the Plaquenil...? I will be seeing my rheumatologist again before these scopes, so I'm definitely going to ask him about this.
SLE and SjS. ANA >1:1280 speckled,
SS-A >8.0, RF positive. Clonazepam, Zoloft, albuterol, Imitrex for migraines, CellCept 1500 mg, Plaquenil 200 mg, Restasis, Ocuvite, Zofran for nausea, Protonix, Gabapentin, Evoxac and Lortabs for pain. I'm a walking pharmacy.

quietdynamics

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Re: Plaquenil, diarrhea and weight loss?
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2012, 09:50:03 PM »
In spring of 2011, I had chronic prolonged gastro problems. I though I had picked up a "bug" but, the diarrhea did not stop and I was pretty much house bound due to it. GP said spastic colon. Rheumy got me in to see a Gastro. He did blood work and colonoscopy, ....since they put you out I was so tempted to write "One Way/Do Not Enter" across my back...lol 

Everything came back normal.
I asked what he was going to put down for insurance.....he said "IBS"

Daily I take Dicyclomine and Metamuceil to control it. I still have the condition and it is easily triggered. I carry extra Dicyclomine with me when I leave home.

I have read about IBS in connection with Sjogren.

"The large bowel may be affected in a functional way, producing what is sometimes called 'irritable bowel
syndrome'. This can cause lower abdominal pain and alteration in bowel habit. Treatment of this tends to
consist of the increase of fibre (bran) in the content of a patient's diet and occasionally the use of antispasmodic
drugs."  http://www.bssa.uk.net/downloads/Health%20Symptoms%202011.pdf

Sjogrens ANA 1:640; SS-A/B+; Fibro; IBS; Neuro symptoms,Thyroid Anti-bodies; Ocular Rosacea

Meleke

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Re: Plaquenil, diarrhea and weight loss?
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2012, 10:07:18 PM »
i have ibs  and yeah plaquinel has the same affect on me. i lost weight on it alone and the chronic diarrhea. i also have gerd.  bental is what the GI Dr perscribed for me but it alone don't help. i know were suppost to stay off dairy but i eat a lot of cheese and i mean a lot.  it seems to help me and I'm maintaining my weight as i have also adapted to drinking tea. it's a natural anti-inflamation and it helps me to keep water in my body. most of the weight i was loosing was water. It also gave and gives me migraines. my neurologist also put me on neurotin I'm told this helps with the migraines and makes you gain weight.  hope this helps you.. good luck. oh and you may want to go ahead and have the colonospsy done they also look for palups. i was told it's common in people who have ibs

irish

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Re: Plaquenil, diarrhea and weight loss?
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2012, 12:10:40 AM »
I am really surprised that you got by this long without being scoped. This is really the first thing they do for a prolonged problem like yours. You have done some of the other little things without any luck. You really need to be scoped to rule out celiac, any other odd issues, infections, etc and of course, check for cancer. Long term diarrhea is a symptom of something not being right.

You may well be having this because of the plaquenil and stopping the plaquenil is the only way to find this out. I have had to take some heavy duty antibiotics a couple of times this year and I quit taking my plaquenil at these times. My choice. I don't want to overload my liver anymore than I have to so choose to do that. So far no problems. Good luck with your scoping. It is not bad at all as you will probably sleep through the whole thing. Irish

Belsey1

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Re: Plaquenil, diarrhea and weight loss?
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2012, 12:34:11 AM »
I have been having same problem.  Diarrhea for over 3 months.  I first went to my rheumy...he acted like I was crazy and shouldn't be there.  I then went to my PC who ordered all kind of test on stool samples, including tests for infections, parasites and multiple bacterial problems, along with WBC.  He said everything was "completely negative".  He had me stop Paquenil to see if that was causing the diarrhea.  It has been about two weeks and D problem is almost resolved.  I am going to wait until Monday and restart the Plaq in small doses.  Stopping it has brought my pain and other SJS Problems back three fold.  I have had to be out of work most of this week.  I am not sure I will be able to go back without the relief Plaq provided, or at least some of the relief. 

I hope you find dome answers, but I don't feel like colonoscopy has to be first line of finding the problem.  Just my opinion.
55 year old female, diagnosed with SJS in 2010...Fibro in 1990, sleep apnea with C pap-Restless Leg Syndrome.  Recently added Diabetes and high blood pressure...have anxiety disorder, depression and PTSD.  Chloroquine, Clonazapam, Lexapro, Januvia, Metformin, Losartan, Diclofenac, Gabapentin.

cremer

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Re: Plaquenil, diarrhea and weight loss?
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2012, 06:07:41 AM »
I went through the same problems as you about a year ago, had diarrhea for almost 3 months, mouth ulcers almost every day for three months, I had all the tests done including a colonoscope and they found nothing. All they said was try an elimination diet and that my IBS I've had since a child was to blame.

I finally after alot of elimination narrowed it down to eggs, I gave them up and now only get diarrhea maybe a few days a month.

Male 47 yrs old
PSjS (Positive SSa & SSb ANA 1:2560, Possible Fibromyalgia and CFS, Triple heart bypass Feb 2011, IBS, brain fog, joint pain, mouth and nose ulcers, paronychia, headaches, and fatigue, Very low WBC count.
Medications : Aspirin, Plaquenil, Bisoprolol, Simvastatin, Vit D, Iron.

mshistory

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Re: Plaquenil, diarrhea and weight loss?
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2012, 06:58:56 AM »
Thank you for the suggestions everyone! I told my husband last night I'm going to be really ticked if I go through all of this just to be told I have IBS. My husband has IBS and doesn't have weight loss or problems gaining weight. Considering my daughters have CD though, I suppose it is a good idea to go ahead with the scopes. If they don't find anything, and I try going off the Plaquenil, what alternatives are there? I can't take oral steroids (and I know that's usually not a good idea for long-term treatment), and I thought MTX was usually used in conjunction with Plaquenil. The newer biologics are SO expensive, I couldn't afford them (my Rx drug coverage is not very good).  :-\
SLE and SjS. ANA >1:1280 speckled,
SS-A >8.0, RF positive. Clonazepam, Zoloft, albuterol, Imitrex for migraines, CellCept 1500 mg, Plaquenil 200 mg, Restasis, Ocuvite, Zofran for nausea, Protonix, Gabapentin, Evoxac and Lortabs for pain. I'm a walking pharmacy.

Winnie

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Re: Plaquenil, diarrhea and weight loss?
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2012, 07:20:40 AM »
mshistory
If the scope does not show celiac, you could still be gluten sensitive.  I would also insist on getting tested for food allergies and get a stool sample to rule out other problems.  GI doctors tend to forget the simple procedures.  These tests gave me more answers than any doctor has in all my life time.

Winnie
Sicca Syndrome-Aug 11', osteopenia, IBS-C, gastritis, GERD
Plaquenil, Dexilant, Vit D, Calcium, gluten free, dairy, egg & nut intolerances

vtmommy

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Re: Plaquenil, diarrhea and weight loss?
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2012, 08:12:53 AM »
I had to deal with the scoping of both ends last year.  The colonoscopy I wasn't put all of the way asleep, but just given a sedative and that was fine.  The prep for that is the worst part.  The upper endoscopy was a breeze compared to that.  My gastro said everything was normal as well and it was just IBS.  One thing to keep in mind, make sure they test thoroughly for Crohn's disease.  They usually can rule that out with the colonoscopy, but sometimes it can only be in the small intestine which they can't always see. 

If you have the severe diarrhea only since starting the plaquenil, then that seems like a no brainer to me...

mshistory

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Re: Plaquenil, diarrhea and weight loss?
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2012, 10:02:28 AM »
Rheumy said to stop taking the Plaquenil to see what happens... oh great. This should be interesting.
SLE and SjS. ANA >1:1280 speckled,
SS-A >8.0, RF positive. Clonazepam, Zoloft, albuterol, Imitrex for migraines, CellCept 1500 mg, Plaquenil 200 mg, Restasis, Ocuvite, Zofran for nausea, Protonix, Gabapentin, Evoxac and Lortabs for pain. I'm a walking pharmacy.

Rebecca

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Re: Plaquenil, diarrhea and weight loss?
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2012, 02:30:29 PM »
I have been on Plaquenil and can tell you my diarrhea started within days of starting the med.  My doctor warned me that diarrhea and weight loss were side effects.  I said, "Well, I am usually very constipated and could stand to lose 10 pounds so this could be a good thing." haha.  I am NOT constipated any more  ;)  but have not lost any weight either.  I can tell you, I will take the discomfort of diarrhea over the discomfort, bloatiness and hemorrhoids from constipation!!!  And I figure the diarrhea won't last forever.