Lupus patients struggling to get hydroxychloroquine diverted for COVID-19

Blou normally takes two, 200-mg pills of the drug each day to manage her lupus, an autoimmune disease that causes joint pain, stiffness, swelling, fatigue and organ damage. Hydroxychloroquine is the only medication that effectively reduces flare ups she said.

Because she was unable to fill her normal prescription, she is rationing her pills, taking a half-pillevery day – a quarter of her normal dosage. As of Friday, she had 39 pills left.

She has noticed everyday chores have become difficult. She struggles to get dressed, grip doors and start her car. Anything requiring her to make a fist or grip is too painful.

“When I have that medicine, I can live life normally and don’t have to think about it,” said Blou, who also has rheumatoid arthritis. “Now I have to stop and think before I even pick up my toothbrush to brush my teeth.”

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