Skip to main content

Does hydroxychloroquine cause emotional lability?

Medically reviewed by Melisa Puckey, BPharm. Last updated on May 10, 2023.

Official answer


One of the side effects of hydroxychloroquine is that it can cause changes in emotional lability.
Emotional lability means a person may have sudden and exaggerated changes in mood, with poorly controlled strong emotions that may include anger, dysphoria, sadness, or euphoria.

Other psychiatric or nervous system side effects include nervousness, irritability, nightmares, psychosis and suicidal behaviour.

What is hydroxychloroquine used for?

Hydroxychloroquine is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, discord or systemic lupus erythematosus and used to treat or prevent malaria.

Is hydroxychloroquine used to treat COVID-19?

Hydroxychloroquine has not been approved to treat coronavirus or COVID-19. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has instead has issued an emergency use authorization (EUAs) for hydroxychloroquine in adults and adolescents weighing at least 110 pounds (50 kilograms) who are hospitalized with COVID-19.

Hydroxychloroquine use in COVID-19 is still experimental and it is not known if it is safe or effective.


Related medical questions

Drug information

Related support groups