We were much later told that the Plaquenil had "lowered his tolerance to infection, as it is also an immuno-suppressant." In essence, the medicine allowed the viral infection to cross the barrier between his brain and blood/lungs. His/our question is as to whether he can or should EVER go back on the medication and risk exposure to further illnesses if it is true that Plaquenil or the generic for is, in fact, an immuno-suppressant and presents a serious health risk for him? What is plaquenil hydroxychloroquine Plaquenil swelling Plaquenil is a 6-weeker as far as the benefits are concerned, but it would be more dangerous to stop if you spend a lot of time outside and if this were the summer. If you're gonna experiment, I went off it cold turkey as it didn't hurt to do it that way, but you better get back on before the summer or you could experience a flare-up. While side effects of corticosteroids are usually to blame, there is also the possibility of ocular damage associated with long-term use of the antimalarial drugs hydroxychloroquine brand name Plaquenil® and chloroquine. Improved vision screening tests and updated dosing guidelines are key to avoiding such complications. Plaquenil damps down the reactiveness of the receptors that send out your “fighters”, which in us is overactive. Rather than strangling the life out of your immune system like steroid meds do, it attenuates the function to closer to normal. We've been told that his 'count' (900 cells per 1,000) was the highest infection level in the spinal fluid that the doctors had ever seen. All the patients they'd encountered w/lower levels had died. (He was never told of that risk when he was put on the medication.) Added : What I failed to mention (above) is that he almost died in April when this happened. Stop antibodies drug plaquenil Hydroxychloroquine Plaquenil, Protecting your eyesight when taking Plaquenil Lupus. Taking plaquenil over 2 years Taking Plaquenil long-term or at high doses may cause irreversible damage to the retina of your eye. Stop taking Plaquenil and call your doctor at once if you have trouble focusing, if you see light streaks or flashes in your vision, or if you notice any swelling or color changes in your eyes. Plaquenil Uses, Dosage & Side Effects -. Stopping Plaquenil - General Discussion - Life With Lupus. How is plaquenil hydroxychloroquine used to treat lupus?. Aug 02, 2010 Yes, Plaquenil suppresses the immune system. Autoimmune disease such as Sjogrens occurs when the body gets "confused" and attacks healthy tissue instead of just attacking the germs. Basically, the immune system is a bit out of control. Plaquenil works by suppressing the immune system. I've been on plaquenil for 6 months for suspected Sjogren's syndrome I don't have antibodies for Sjorgren's or Lupus but I do have Hashimoto's and have all the symptoms for Sjorgren's so the rheumatologist suggested a trial of plaquenil. Basically I've been on the drug since January and saw the rheumatologist on Wednesday to see how things. Plaquenil Hydroxychloroquine belongs to a group of medications known as anti-inflammatories and antimalarials. It is used alone or in combination with other anti-arthritic medications to treat rheumatoid arthritis. It helps to reduce pain, stiffness, and swelling in joints.