Hydroxychloroquine does not increase risk of heart arrhythmias in people with lupus
Taking hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) for lupus treatment does not significantly increase risk of cardiac arrhythmias in people with lupus. An arrhythmia is a condition where the heart beats too fast, too slow, or irregularly. Additionally, the risk of developing an arrhythmia is not affected by length of time taking HCQ, high dosage or adherence to the medication. HCQ has been linked to heart health in people with lupus.
Researchers in Taiwan examined a group of 2,499 newly diagnosed people with lupus. Persons with pre-existing arrhythmia were excluded and the remaining study participants were divided into two groups. One group was newly diagnosed with arrhythmia, and the second group did not have the condition. Both groups were treated with HCQ. No significant increased risk of arrhythmia was detected between the groups.
HCQ therapy is a favored treatment for people with lupus and this study underscores the drug’s safety. Consult your physician before making any changes to your medication. Learn about hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for lupus.