In 2012, I developed severe hand swelling. It was diagnosed as RA, though I had no joint pain, nodules, or any other symptoms. My RA factor was negative, so the doc said it is "serum negative RA." I never believed it, but agreed to try Plaquenil 200 2x daily, and Prednisone ( for a couple of years or so). The swelling did subside, but I think it was coincidental. I stayed on the drug for 4 years, but, having so symptoms, stopped it on my own, (though I don't remember if I "weaned" off of it. ) I had been off of it for one year and symptom free until about 6 months ago. I developed swelling in my ankle that would not go away and my internist sent me to another RA doc, since we had moved to another state. The doc immediately said it was RA and strongly suggested Plaquenil 200 once daily. I resisted it for some time, but finally decided to try it. The possible eye problems with the drug scare me, and I have since developed macular degeneration, although the eye doc says it is unrelated to the drug. I have now been on it for 3 months, still have swelling in right hand and right ankle. I still don't think it is RA and the doc is doing extensive testing to determine the diagnosis that is linked to the general statement of "autoimmune disease." She says there are over 150 possibilities which could be causing my symptoms, AND my RA factor still tests NEGATIVE, but she still wants me on the Plaquenil.
I honestly think I am having an inflammatory reaction to the foods I eat and want to stop the Plaquenil. Is there any danger in just stopping? I do not dispute that I have autoimmune disease, but do not want to take Plaquenil if it is not necessary.