• EYE TESTINGS for Baseline

About Plaquenil toxicity

Plaquenil and Your Eyes

  • In some people, Plaquenil can cause a condition called hydroxychloroquine retinopathy, often referred to as bulls-eye maculopathy. (The condition sometimes resembles a target, or bulls-eye ring, on the retina surrounding the macula.)
  • Hydroxychloroquine retinopathy is extremely rare and is most often seen in cases where the dosage is high or the patient has been taking it for several years. Bulls-eye maculopathy is uncommon, but when it does occur, it can be devastating visually.Initially, central vision is not affected, but you may notice a ring of disrupted vision that may interfere with reading. As the disease progresses, it begins to affect central vision and becomes life-altering.
  • The changes are most often permanent, but in some cases, vision has improved.
  • Most rheumatologists recommend patients undergo a baseline eye exam prior to starting Plaquenil and be re-examined in the future depending on their risk for developing the condition. Risk factors include advanced age and having pre-existing retinal disease.
  • Recently, specialists have announced new guidelines for Plaquenil screenings because of associated retinal problems while taking Plaquenil. Also, the technology for detecting retinal changes has improved since the initial guidelines were set.

We Offer Diagnostic Eye Tests

The new guidelines recommend eye doctors perform a comprehensive eye exam, including the following:

  • Dilated retinal examination
  • Retinal photography (for baseline documentation)
  • Central computerized visual field test
  • Optical coherence tomography (OCT) 
  • Electroretinography (ERG)
  • Constrast Sensivity Test
  • Color Test (baseline)