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Can Plaquenil be making me more susceptible to catching colds/viruses?
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mm1004 posted:
I was diagnosed with Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease approximately 11 years ago after having a baby with Neonatal Lupus (rash only). I have never taken any medications for this as I have been considered non-symptomatic all these years. (In comparison to the stuff other folks with UCTD complain about I guess!) I have always had significant "brain fog" and fatigue and just sort of lived with it thinking there was no medication that would help. At my last appointment with my Rheumatologist in October 2012 he convinced me that Plaquenil might help with this and I have been taking it ever since. In the past two months I've already caught two colds. Not like me. I'm rarely sick and I have three kids! My Dr. assured me that Plaquenil is not an immunosuppresant and I do trust him.... but I'm not convinced completely. How is a Disease Modifying drug different from an immunosuppresant? Do you think the Plaquenil has something to do with me catching colds or do you think it may just be coincidental? (I do have a first grader whose nose has been running since September!)

Thanks so much!
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R Swamy Venuturupalli, MD, FACR responded:
I agree with your doctor that plaquenil usually does not suppress the immune system. Its likely that your symptoms are coincidental. However, rarely, I've seen even so called benign drugs cause untoward side effects. Hence, I would ask your doctor to monitor this medication in case you don't recover from the upper respiratory infections. Best wishes.
 
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mm1004 replied to R Swamy Venuturupalli, MD, FACR's response:
Thanks so much Dr. Venuturupalli. Thankfully it was a minor cold and all is well now. All these years since my diagnosis, I've been so anti-Plaquenil that I guess I felt I had to blame it for something! I've been "suspicious" of Plaquenil because I'm not completely understanding what it does to the immune system. I will continue to take it because I'm really hoping for some relief from the "brain fog" and fatigue someday soon. Thanks so much for your response.


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