Antimalarial drugs, systemic lupus erythematosus and pregnancy

J Rheumatol. 1988 Apr;15(4):607-10.


Antimalarial drugs containing the 4-amino quinoline radical are used to help control disease activity in discoid lupus erythematosus and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Many patients with these complaints are young women, some of whom will become pregnant. The use of these substituted 4-amino quinoline compounds in pregnancy is controversial. We studied the full obstetric histories of 8 women with SLE who had taken either chloroquine phosphate or hydroxychloroquine sulphate (Plaquenil) throughout the entire length of at least 1 pregnancy. These 8 women had 14 pregnancies while receiving antimalarial drugs. Fetal wastage was high in these patients, regardless of antimalarial therapy, and was almost 100% in patients who were clinically active. Six normal full term spontaneous deliveries resulted from these pregnancies with clinically healthy normal babies born despite exposure to antimalarial therapy throughout the pregnancies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous
  • Antimalarials / therapeutic use*
  • Chloroquine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Chloroquine / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Fetal Death
  • Humans
  • Hydroxychloroquine / therapeutic use*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / drug therapy*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / physiopathology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications*


  • Antimalarials
  • Hydroxychloroquine
  • chloroquine diphosphate
  • Chloroquine