New to the board. I have a question. Is Plaquenil considered to be an immunosuppressive medication or quality like?? I'm on it, I know its an anti malarial, but want to check if its also considered an immunosuppressive???
Last edited by curiouscupie; 04-18-2006 at 09:22 PM.
Hi. I've seen the term "immune-modifying" applied to Plaquenil, to convey that something of a lesser order than the term "immune suppressant".
Dr. Wallace (rheumie/author) writes [direct quote], "Unlike steroids and chemotherapies, antimalarials do not lower blood counts or make patients more susceptible to infection." He goes on to explain WHY they work: by altering acid-base balance in cells.
The way I've always understood it, Plaquenil is NOT a immunosupressant. Immunopressant's are meds that suppress the immune system...Like prednisone...that drug suppresses our immune system, calms it down so that our psycho immune system won't turn around and attack us so much. Thats why when you're on prednisone you're more succeptible to infection because your immune response is slower. With Plaquenil that's not the case. It has other agents in it that help treat Lupus. As far as what agents those are, in everything I've read I've gotten the impression that doctors just aren't sure WHAT it is. They do know that something in Plaquenil prevents our tissues from being damaged, when it's used effectively. Hope this also helps.
Thanks for your replies. I just spoke to my rheumy today...he pretty much said what you did . I had a surgeon try to tell me it is an immunosuppressant and makes me at a higher risk for infections...NOT. Although I have a cutaneous type of lupus not systemic, but the skin and joints are affected the most. I've always had trouble with my skin sensitivities and rashes...maybe that's what he's worried about with wound healing.