Can You Take Omega 3 With Plaquenil?

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Salmon is a good source for omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids

Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) is a medication used to treat malaria and autoimmune disorders, like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. It is classified as a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug or DMARD. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are essential fatty acids and are not made by the body. They are found primarily in fatty fishes, such as salmon. They are also sold as dietary supplements in the form of a pill and may be prescribed by a doctor to treat joint pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

  1. Drug Interactions

    • The treatment goals for rheumatoid arthritis are to alleviate joint pain and stiffness and to halt further progression of the disease. Commonly, patients are treated with multiple drugs and/or supplements to accomplish these goals. Plaquenil and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may be used together to treat rheumatoid arthritis. There are no reports of adverse drug interactions between Plaquenil and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.

    How Does Plaquenil Reduce Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

    • In the early stages of rheumatoid arthritis immune cells move into the joints and cause inflammation and cellular damage. Plaquenil has many actions on immune cells that block immune cell function. Plaquenil and other DMARDs reduce joint pain and slow the progression of rheumatoid arthritis.

    How do Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Reduce Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

    • Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids also block immune cell function. They decrease the release of chemicals that cause inflammation. Dr. Joel Kremer of the Albany Medical College concluded from his human studies that taking dietary supplements of fish oil (omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids) will significantly decrease joint pain and morning stiffness in patients that have rheumatoid arthritis.

    Interesting Facts:

    • Cod liver oil contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and has long been utilized for the treatment of arthritis. The benefits of cod liver oil have been backed up by recent research. In 2002, Gruenwald et al., reported patients with rheumatoid arthritis that took one capsule of cod liver oil a day for three months had significantly decreased pain.

    Warning

    • As in all circumstances when multiple drugs and/or dietary supplements are taken, consult your doctor.

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References

  • Photo Credit fresh cuts of salmon image by Vonora from Fotolia.com

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