Antimalarials have shown beneficial effects on systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) activity. Our aim was to investigate whether antimalarials protect against thrombosis and influence survival in SLE patients. A prospective cohort including 232 patients with SLE were included in the study at the time of lupus diagnosis. End points were documented thrombosis and death due to any cause. A Cox regression-multiple-failure time survival analysis model was fitted to establish the effect of antimalarials on the development of thrombosis. Kaplan-Meier survival curves and propensity score adjusted-Cox regression analysis were performed to investigate the effect of antimalarials use on survival. Of our subjects, 204 patients (88%) were women. 230 patients (99%) were white. 150 patients (64%) had ever received antimalarials. Median time on antimalarials was 52 months (range three to 228 months). The Cox multiple-failure time survival analysis showed that taking antimalarials was protective against thrombosis (HR 0.28, 95% CI 0.08-0.90), while aPL-positivity (HR 3.16, 95% CI 1.45-6.88) and previous thrombosis (HR 3.85, 95% CI 1.50-9.91) increased the risk of thrombotic events. Twenty-three patients died, 19 of whom (83%) had never received antimalarials. No patient treated with antimalarials died of cardiovascular complications. Cumulative 15-year survival rates were 0.68 for never versus 0.95 for ever treated patients (P < 0.001). Age at diagnosis and propensity score-adjusted HR for antimalarials ever versus never users was 0.14 (95% CI 0.04-0.48). Our study shows a protective effect of antimalarials against thrombosis and an increased survival of SLE patients taking these drugs. These data support the routine use of antimalarials in all patients with SLE.