OPHTHALMOLOGIC SIDE EFFECTS OF CHLOROQUINE, ANALYSIS IN 1598 PATIENTS WITH RHEUMATlC DISEASES.


Abstract: Antimalarials are among the most important disease modifying drugs used in Rheumatology. The major problem with them is their effects on eyes. We have done a retrospective study on 1598 patients with RA and SLE using Chloroquine for 1 month to 16 years (Mean 41 months). Eye problems was detected in 330 patients (20.6%). We found corneal deposition in 205 (13%) that was graded as severe (11%), moderate (12%) and mild (77%). All were reversible with reducing drug dosage. One hundred fifty patients (9.4%) showed retinopathy (Macular edema in 85 and other retinal involvement such as depigmentation, and degeneration in 49). All were reversible at different degrees except in 3 patients, which in one led to bull's eyes and sever loss of vision. In the majority of cases we were able to continue the treatment for several months or year by the reduction of the daily dosage. Data analysis showed that women were more susceptible to eye complications (p<0.02). We could not find any relationship between the retinopathy and the total dose of the drug. On the contrary we found a higher prevalence of corneal deposition in the first year of treatment (p<0.0002) which may suggest a possible role for individual susceptibility.