Hydroxychloroquine is associated with lower risk of developing endometriosis in women with lupus
In women with lupus, taking hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) for lupus treatment was associated with a lower risk of developing endometriosis, a disorder where tissue that usually lines the inside of the uterus develops outside of the uterus and potentially other areas of the female reproduction system. The condition causes pain, irregular menstruation, and can affect conception (the ability to become pregnant). Women with lupus and of reproductive age are prone to the disorder.
A group of 742 women newly diagnosed with lupus and with endometriosis were examined based on age and dosage (high/low) of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). Of the group, 185 took the medication for less than 90 days (defined as low dose) and 557 for more than 90 days, considered high dose. After matching for age, a final group of 555 women was assessed. The endometriosis incidence rate decreased in the high dose group (44.54%) vs. the low dose group (90.03%). The high dose group taking HCQ with immunosuppressive drugs and corticosteroid also saw lower risk of developing the disorder.
The researchers recommend HCQ therapy as part of lupus treatment, especially for women with risk of endometriosis. Consult your physician before making any changes to your medication. Learn about women’s health and reproductive issues with lupus.
Interested in getting research like this straight to your inbox? Subscribe to our bimonthly Inside Lupus Research email for all the latest.