Hydroxychloroquine is Not Associated with Increased Risk of Arrhythmia in People with Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis
A new study evaluated the risk of developing a heart condition known as arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) in people with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis after starting treatment with hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). Researchers found there was no increased risk of developing arrhythmia in people with lupus (or rheumatoid arthritis) after beginning HCQ therapy.
Over a period of eight years, researchers monitored and reviewed the records of 76,989 people with rheumatoid arthritis or lupus and compared rates of arrhythmias among people who had recently started taking HCQ (HCQ initiators) to people who had not (HCQ non-initiators).
There was no significant difference in occurrence of arrhythmias between the HCQ initiators and non-initiators. Among HCQ initiators, 1,610 people exhibited incident arrhythmias. Similarly, amongst the HCQ non-initiators, 1,646 people also exhibited the heart condition. Researchers concluded there is no increased risk in any type of arrhythmia among new users of HCQ.
HCQ (known commercially as Plaquenil®) is safe and widely used for more favorable outcomes in people with lupus. Consult your physician before making any changes to your medication. Learn about how lupus affects the heart and circulation.
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