Knowing how to optimize safe dosing for hydroxychloroquine at a population level is the goal of a new study. Dr. Esdaile is collaborating with Antonio Aviña-Zubieta, MD, PhD, on a prospective study involving all patients receiving hydroxychloroquine for lupus and RA in the province of British Columbia.
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Dr. Petri and other rheumatology and ophthalmology experts in the field will be working to develop specific recommendations for clinicians, but these are not expected soon. Until then, rheumatologists can follow recommended eye monitoring schedules. This should pick up any potential retinopathy early, before symptoms begin and without risk of further progression if hydroxychloroquine is stopped. In so doing, rheumatologists hope to keep using one of their key tools in the treatment of lupus.
Ruth Jessen Hickman, MD, is a graduate of the Indiana University School of Medicine. She is a freelance medical and science writer living in Bloomington, Ind.
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