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Yes. Hydroxychloroquine/chloroquine, which belongs to the class of synthetic antimalarials, is a very important drug for the treatment of lupus. Its mechanism of action is poorly understood, but it is thought to intervene at several levels of the immune response, which it helps to "re-educate".
In lupus, hydroxychloroquine/chloroquine have several actions.
It is effective on skin and joint damage. It usually takes 3 to 4 weeks to act. This treatment prevents flares.
It also has a preventive effect on other lupus disorders, especially kidney damage, and it reduces the risk of flares. It is therefore a long-term treatment, that is, it modifies the evolutionary course of the disease.
It may also act against the formation of blood clots (antithrombotic effect) and may be able to lower cholesterol (cholesterol-lowering action) and sugar (antidiabetic action) levels. It can (and should) be continued during pregnancy and lactation.
Hydroxychloroquine/chloroquine is an effective treatment for skin and joint damage, and acts as a long-term treatment.