NOT USED FOR COVID-19
Hydroxychloroquine, the active drug in Plaquenil, is not recommended for use in treating COVID-19 (the illness caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2). Do not take any prescription drug, including Plaquenil or hydroxychloroquine, unless your doctor recommends that you do so.
For advice on prevention and treatment, and expert recommendations, visit our COVID-19 hub.
Hydroxychloroquine is a generic prescription medication. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it for the following uses:
- help prevent and treat malaria in adults and some children
- treat certain forms of lupus in adults
- treat rheumatoid arthritis in adults
For more information about hydroxychloroquine’s uses, refer to this article.
Here are some details about hydroxychloroquine:
- Drug class: antimalarial
- Drug form: oral tablet
- Brand-name version: Plaquenil
Read on to learn about how much hydroxychloroquine costs and how to save money on prescriptions.
As with all medications, the cost of hydroxychloroquine (also known as hydroxychloroquine sulfate) can vary. Factors that may affect the price you’ll pay include your treatment plan, your insurance coverage, and the pharmacy you use.
To find out what the cost of hydroxychloroquine will be for you, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.
Note: If you have insurance, your insurance company may require prior authorization before it covers hydroxychloroquine. This means the company and your doctor will discuss hydroxychloroquine in regard to your treatment. The insurance company will then determine whether the medication is covered. If a drug requires prior authorization but you start treatment without prior approval, you could pay the full cost of the medication. You can ask your insurance company whether hydroxychloroquine requires prior authorization.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about drug cost and hydroxychloroquine.
What’s the cost of hydroxychloroquine 200 mg?
The cost of hydroxychloroquine 200 milligrams (mg) depends on various factors. These include your treatment plan and whether you have insurance or are paying out of pocket.
If you have insurance coverage, talk with your plan provider to learn about the cost of hydroxychloroquine 200 mg.
However, if you don’t have insurance, you can check with a few pharmacies to find the best price for the drug. Your cost may vary based on the pharmacy you use.
How much does hydroxychloroquine cost per dose?
Hydroxychloroquine’s cost per dose can differ based on whether you have insurance or are paying out of pocket.
If you have insurance coverage, you may have to get prior authorization from your insurance company before the drug is covered. This can affect your cost. (For more details about prior authorization, see the “Hydroxychloroquine cost” section above.)
The cost per dose may also depend on your age and the condition the drug is being prescribed for.
To learn more about the cost of hydroxychloroquine per dose, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. If you have insurance, you can also call your insurance plan provider to learn about the drug’s cost.
Can I get hydroxychloroquine over the counter?
No. Hydroxychloroquine isn’t available over the counter. It’s a prescription medication. You can only get a prescription for the drug by visiting a doctor.
Do not buy or take any hydroxychloroquine tablets that aren’t prescribed by your doctor. This drug can cause serious side effects that can be dangerous.* Your doctor can help determine whether this drug is safe for you.
If you’d like to learn about the approved uses for hydroxychloroquine and how you can get it, talk with your doctor.
* To learn about side effects of hydroxychloroquine, see this article.
Hydroxychloroquine is a generic drug, which means it’s an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. A generic drug is considered as safe and effective as the original drug. And generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.
Hydroxychloroquine is available as the brand-name drug Plaquenil. If your doctor has prescribed hydroxychloroquine and you’re interested in using Plaquenil instead, talk with your doctor. They may have a preference for one version or the other. You’ll also need to check with your insurance provider, as it may only cover one or the other.
To find out how the cost of this brand-name drug compares with the cost of hydroxychloroquine, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.
If you take hydroxychloroquine long term, you may be able to lower its cost in the following ways.
Getting a 3-month supply
You may be able to get a 90-day supply of hydroxychloroquine. If approved by your insurance company, getting a 90-day supply of the drug could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.
Using a mail-order pharmacy
Hydroxychloroquine may be available through a legitimate mail-order pharmacy. Using this type of service may help lower the drug’s cost and allow you to receive your medication without leaving home. Some Medicare plans may help cover the cost of mail-order medications. You may also be able to get a 90-day supply of the drug via mail order.
If you don’t have health insurance, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to suggest online pharmacy options that could work for you.
If you’d like to use a mail-order pharmacy, be sure to use reputable and legitimate pharmacies that require a prescription. Your doctor or a pharmacist can help confirm which mail-order pharmacies are safe to use.
If you need financial support to pay for hydroxychloroquine, consider looking into websites that offer cost resources and information. Two such organizations are:
These sites can provide details about drug assistance programs, ways to make the most of your insurance coverage, and links to savings cards and other services.
Now that you’ve learned about cost and hydroxychloroquine, you may still have some questions. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist, who can provide personalized guidance about cost issues related to hydroxychloroquine. But if you have health insurance, you’ll need to talk with your insurance provider to learn the actual cost you would pay for the drug.
Here are some other resources you may find helpful:
- Medicare drug coverage. To learn about Medicare coverage for drugs, see these articles about Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, drug coupons and Medicare, and the Medicare drug list.
- Save money. Explore this article for tips about how to save money on prescriptions.
- More details. For details about other aspects of hydroxychloroquine, refer to this article.
- Information about your condition. For more information about rheumatoid arthritis (RA), see our RA hub and this article about hydroxychloroquine and RA. For details about lupus, see this list of articles related to the condition.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.