Sarcoidosis and the use of Plaquenil

Anti-malarial drugs, Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), may be helpful for skin disease, nervous system involvement and elevated blood-calcium levels. Anti-malarial drugs can harm your eyes, so regular eye exams should be scheduled

Sarcoidosis (sahr-koi-DO-sis) is characterized by the development and growth of tiny clumps of inflammatory cells in different areas of your body — most commonly the lungs, lymph nodes, eyes and skin.

Doctors believe sarcoidosis results from an abnormal immune response — most likely to something inhaled from the air — but just what triggers this response isn't known. The course of sarcoidosis is variable from person to person. Often, it goes away on its own, but in some people signs and symptoms of sarcoidosis may last a lifetime.

If you have minor signs or symptoms of sarcoidosis, you may just need to be monitored until the illness resolves. But if signs or symptoms are bothersome or put vital organs at risk, treatment with prescription anti-inflammatory medications can be helpful.

You may not need treatment if you don't have any signs and symptoms of sarcoidosis or if they aren't bothering you. Sarcoidosis goes away on its own in many cases, but you should undergo close surveillance with regular chest X-rays and exams of the eyes, skin and any other organ involved. Treatment becomes necessary if organ function is threatened.