Medicines & Supplements A to Z > Hydroxychloroquine


Last updated on March 24, 2020.

Overview   |   Dosage   |   Side Effects   |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Hydroxychloroquine


COMMON BRANDS IN HONG KONG: Plaquenil, Vickoquen, Apo-Hydroxyquine


What is Hydroxychloroquine for?

Hydroxychloroquine is an antimalarial and a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug. It kills the malaria parasite and is used for the prevention and treatment of malaria. Hydroxychloroquine is also commonly used to treat autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

Hydroxychloroquine is currently an investigational agent under clinical trials for the treatment of COVID-19. Its use as a treatment for COVID-19 has not been approved by the United States FDA. Hydroxychloroquine is a recommended antiviral treatment for COVID-19 in China as preliminary research suggests that it provides clinical and virologic advantages compared with a non-treatment group. However, safety and efficacy are yet to be established for the treatment of COVID-19.

How to use it?

Hydroxychloroquine is taken by mouth. You should take Hydroxychloroquine with meal or milk for better absorption. 

The suggested adult doses for different usesare listed below:

For prevention of malaria

Adult: 400 mg once a week on the same day. Start 2 weeks prior to exposure and continue until 8 weeks after exposure.

For rheumatoid arthritis and lupus erythematosus

Adult: 200-400 mg once daily. Do not exceed a daily dose of 5 mg/kg/day or 400 mg per day.

What are the side effects of Hydroxychloroquine? 

Hydroxychloroquine can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, fatigue, headache, dizziness, decreased appetite, visual disturbances and irritability. Long-term use at higher doses is associated with retinal toxicity, so it is important to have eyes examined when starting treatment and on a regular basis.

Where to buy Hydroxychloroquine in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Hydroxychloroquine is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at

For detailed information about the use of Hydroxychloroquine in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.