Coronavirus Update: Access to Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) for People with Lupus
The Lupus Foundation of America is aware of the potential use of hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) and chloroquine (Aralen) for the treatment of coronavirus (COVID-19). This means that these drugs may be in high demand in the coming weeks.
We are actively working with our medical and scientific advisors, other patient groups, partners, and the federal government to take steps that ensure people with lupus will be protected from a disruption in access to critical medications. Many hospitals and clinics that treat people with lupus also are working to ensure that those with existing prescriptions will be able to continue their course of treatment.
Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are anti-malarial medicines that can also be effective for people with rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Both drugs have an anti-inflammatory effect and can be helpful in treating joint inflammation and skin manifestations of lupus.
Researchers in China and France have studied both drugs as treatments for pneumonia caused by the coronavirus. The results were initially promising in small studies. To generate more evidence, the World Health Organization is beginning a multi-country clinical trial of a number of drugs that have the potential to be effective against the coronavirus, including hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine.
We continue to monitor this rapidly evolving situation and will provide updates and guidance to the lupus community. Please visit www.lupus.org/coronavirus for the latest coronavirus news.