Anti Malarials Side Effects

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Anti Malarials Side Effects: These drugs are particularly well-suited to fight the effects of arthritis associated with lupus, skin rashes and mouth ulcers. They are given in both high and low doses, each carrying with it different sets of side effects, such as retina damage in high doses and muscle weakness in low doses. Most notably, pregnant women and women who are planning to become pregnant, should talk with their doctor before taking such drugs, as they have been linked birth defects.

Common Side Effects:

For low doses:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Skin rashes
  • Muscle weakness
  • Mild blurring of vision (usually resolves on its own)

  • For high doses:
  • Retina damage (tests and screenings are conducted regularly to monitor this possibility).

  • Brand Names:

    Some common names of anti-malarial drugs:
  • Plaquenil
  • Aralen
  • Atabrine

  • History of Anti-Malarials
    Anti-malarial medications, which are also anti-rheumatic drugs, are derived from the bark of the Peruvian cinchona tree. The active agents, quinine and cinchona, were isolated by Pelltier in 1820.

    Anti-malarials were first used during World War II to treat parasitic infections like malaria. As early as the 1960s it was found that these medications could also be used to treat the joint pain that occurs with rheumatoid arthritis. Soon thereafter, anti-malarials were found to have similar beneficial effects in the treatment of joint pain associated with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Some physicians also used it for the treatment of Sjogren's syndrome.

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