Author Topic: Why does my Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) pill look different?  (Read 304 times)

deeindiana

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After a decade taking Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) and it ALWAYS looking the same, my last prescription looks different. Instead of an oval white tablet marked ZC38 it's now a round pill marked M/373. I double checked with the pharmacist. He says they are the same thing, just different manufacturers, and I will notice absolutely no difference, no side effects, etc. He seemed to think I was a bit crazy for being concerned.

Does that sound correct? I hate to sound paranoid but we all know how over-sensitive our bodies are to everything. I'm going to be pretty darn upset if a simple change in drug manufactures throws me off. You know what I mean?
Diagnosed June 2010.
Rheumy at University of Michigan Med Center. Age 52
Severely dry mouth & throat with difficulty swallowing, fibro, allodynia of the scalp.
Medications: Atenolol, Dexilant, Zoloft, Zocor, Flaxseed oil, Vit D, Nasonex, Plaquenil
I am my own worst enemy...

Liz D.

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Re: Why does my Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) pill look different?
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2020, 12:25:47 PM »
I’m assuming it may be different because so much of the hydroxychloroquine was put aside and hoarded at the beginning of the pandemic thinking it would be a cure for it.  Now your pharmacist needs to buy from a different manufacturer.  Just my opinion as to why.  But in my experience, over the years I’ve had many different manufacturers for many different meds and they never made a difference.  They still did the job!  I hope it works out for you too.

Liz D.
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Sjogrens Syndrome (diagnosed 2004), Hypothryoidism, Asthma, Osteoporosis
Meds:  Plaquenil 400 mg; Synthroid 100mcg; Evoxac, Flovent, Flonase, Protonix 40 mg.,  Prozac 40 mg. Naproxen 500 mg., Hormone Replacement Therapy, vitamins, calcium, flaxseed, biotin

meirish

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Re: Why does my Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) pill look different?
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2020, 03:23:16 PM »
That is what they are. My plaquinel is marked the same. I have taken it around 12+ years and I have taken several different sized pill. MY pharmacist always puts a note on the bottle when it changes.

This is very common as generic meds are made by many different companies and sometimes one company will have a shortage for various reasons and many times it is a price thing. The drug stores such as Walgreen etc will buy in huge amounts and they will dicker over price and get the cheapest one they can. It's just business as usual,

The hydrochloroxy. was taken off the market....except for the amount they kept on hand for the doctors in the country that needed it for their autoimmune, malaria patients. etc. They was on TV several times....but not enough.

The drug has been tested again by a Ford hospital in Detroit (I believe) 2500 people in test and it was learned that people on the pill given in hospital for symptoms had a lower death rate than the people that were not given it. This was a very regulated study that is trustworthy. This same hospital will now do a study with 3000 patients to see if the hydroxy will prevent people from getting the virus.

This info was given several places and I waited until I heard Dr. Seigel (sp) from New York give a lot of info on it. He is very pro hydroxy as his 94 yr old father became ill while on vacation a couple of years ago. The fathers dr called the Dr. Seigel and asked if he could give the grandpa hydroxy. The grandpa's doc said he gave all this geriatric patients the hydroxy when they got sick and it usually snapped them out of it. The low temp, fatigue kind of stuff)

Dr. Seigel had never heard of this before, but he said this was brilliant and much less toxic to the body than some of the other meds and antibiotics out. Stop and think of it...old peoples immune system decreases in efficiency and giving hydroxy probably kicks it up a notch.All these people need to get over fighting over what med does what. Each doctor and patient should have the choice if necessary. They didn't get this picky when they gave out all that oxycoontin!!!

By the way, interesting tidbit noted in the first hydroxy study....They found no heart side effects from the drug. The consensus of the docs in this study was that the people who had problems with their heart when given hydroxy may well have not had a good physical work up and should not have taken it in the first place. That is always possible. meirish

changes made!! Also, the hydroxy drug study in Detroit was divided in half so that half got the med and half didn't. These studies like this are very in depth and the people are screened for all kinds of side effects and issues. It is time consuming and expensive. to do these studies but they need to be done. I think that those of us who have taken this drug for a long time have been ready to scream over all the arguing over this drug. My opinion!!
« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 01:29:04 PM by meirish »

jazzlover

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Re: Why does my Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) pill look different?
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2020, 04:21:03 PM »
Usually, the pharmacy will give you the heads up that the pill may look different.
Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS), Salicylate Sensitivity,  Interstitial Cystitis,  gluten intolerance, Raynaud's, Sjogren's, A-fib; cytomegalovirus, recovered from Lyme disease

helloz

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Re: Why does my Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) pill look different?
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2020, 06:47:33 AM »
I used to get the dog bone shape with actual "plaquenil" on it even though it was supposedly the generic - but last refill was the oval with nothing on it.

meirish

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Re: Why does my Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) pill look different?
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2020, 01:34:11 PM »
Sometimes people will have a doctor who will order the trade name pill instead of the generic. I had that one time years ago and it was darned expensive so I will not go that route anymore. Some people are not happy with the generic of this drug but I have not noticed any difference. Thanks. meirish

Linda196

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Re: Why does my Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) pill look different?
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2020, 02:57:43 AM »
I remember when I first started taking Plaquenil, my rheumy ordered brand name for the first 3 months, then intentionally changed to generic refills for 3 months, and after the first switch he specifically asked if I'd noticed any changes other than beneficial ones. When I said no, he continued with the generic and I've been taking it for more than 15 years now.

The only other medication I've ever taken that the doctor was specific about generic vs brand was Eltroxin, although at one point there was a shortage of the one I took and it had to be replaced with generic, and there were no differences in my labs.

I'm a firm believer that the active ingredients in generics are the same as brand, but I do think there is a possibility that various inactives (fillers) may be different and can cause alterations in reaction.
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meirish

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Re: Why does my Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) pill look different?
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2020, 05:49:10 PM »
The other 2 meds that doctors ordered trade name was my Synthroid and my premarin. I have long ago quite the premarin and my synthroid got changed to generic long ago when I changed drs and I early don't know if there was any big difference because I had so many other health issues that I didn't pay any attention. Thanks meirish

deeindiana

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Re: Why does my Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) pill look different?
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2020, 08:21:26 PM »
Thanks everyone. I'm glad to hear that a change in the appearance doesn't mean a change in the way the drug effects us. Sorry for being a worry wart!
Diagnosed June 2010.
Rheumy at University of Michigan Med Center. Age 52
Severely dry mouth & throat with difficulty swallowing, fibro, allodynia of the scalp.
Medications: Atenolol, Dexilant, Zoloft, Zocor, Flaxseed oil, Vit D, Nasonex, Plaquenil
I am my own worst enemy...

meirish

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Re: Why does my Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) pill look different?
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2020, 02:02:32 AM »
No problem, Dee. If this is the first time this has happened to you with a drug it can be disconcerting. Take care. meirish

Robi5

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Re: Why does my Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) pill look different?
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2020, 05:59:52 PM »
Just came accross this issue as I had my first re-prescription after my recent Rheumy visit.  The drug store called and said that I had it listed that ?generic=ok?.  It kind of caught me off guard, so I asked them to change it back to name brand plaquenil as I already had issues with stomach acid and such, and he relented. 

He said that generic was the same, but I had read on John Hopkin?s site, that the name brand Plaquenil can be easier on the stomach even though it is the same drug.

It?s all a bit confusing to me.  I haven?t gotten it yet, but the name brand is very cheap here in Canada, so cost wasn?t really a factor.  So is Plaquenil the name brand?  Kind of like Tylenol?