Lupus Foundation of America Study on Hydroxychloroquine Reveals Experiential Factors are Paramount to Treatment and Adherence


WASHINGTON, April 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- A new Lupus Foundation of America study on hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) treatment and adherence confirms the gravity of experiential factors, such as medication impression and patient-reported symptom improvement, in HCQ treatment adherence. The study also identified the potential significance of having a specialist as the primary lupus doctor and cultural factors that negatively influence treatment adherence among certain racial groups. This research will be presented at the 13th International Congress on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus this weekend in San Francisco.

Lupus Foundation of America. (PRNewsFoto/Lupus Foundation of America) (PRNewsfoto/Lupus Foundation of America)

In the research abstract entitled, Predictors of Hydroxychloroquine Treatment Adherence among People with Lupus, demographic and socioeconomic factors, perceptions and experiences influencing HCQ treatment adherence among 2,028 adults with lupus taking HCQ was analyzed.

HCQ has long been used to treat lupus and has been shown to reduce damage accrual, plus has protective effects on diseases such as diabetes and hyperlipidemia as well as overall survival in people with lupus.1

Seventy-eight percent of survey respondents reported taking their medication exactly as prescribed all of the time, while 19 percent reported some of the time and 3 percent reported sometimes or never taking HCQ as prescribed. The study also found that people with lupus were twice as likely to adhere to HCQ if they reported having a rheumatologist as the primary doctor treating their lupus and more than twice as likely if they reported having a positive impression of HCQ or experienced improvement in treating their symptoms using HCQ.

Notably, African Americans and those indicating race as "Other" (mixed, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander or Middle Eastern) were 65 percent less likely to adhere to HCQ treatment.

"Treatment adherence is particularly important in lupus," said Karin Tse, Senior Research Coordinator, Health Outcomes at the Lupus Foundation of America, and the study's presenting author. "Given the complex nature of the disease and fluctuation of disease activity, poor adherence could exacerbate flares, increased times of disease activity, and morbidity."

Further exploration is needed on cultural factors negatively influencing treatment adherence among certain racial groups, particularly African Americans and other racial groups (mixed, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander or Middle Eastern).

The Lupus Foundation of America will present their findings from this study during a poster session on April 7 from 8:00 – 9:00am at the International Congress – poster # 210. The Lupus Foundation of America's Inside Lupus Research team will be attending the conference to report on important research findings coming out of the International Congress and provide live tweets and updates on Facebook. To stay connected on the latest research news, visit and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

  1. Costedoat-Chalumeau, N., Dunogué, B., Morel, N., Le Guern, V. and Guettrot-Imbert, G. (2014). Hydroxychloroquine: A multifaceted treatment in lupus. La Presse Médicale, 43(6), pp.e167-e180.

About the Lupus Foundation of America
The Lupus Foundation of America is the national force devoted to solving the mystery of lupus, one of the world's cruellest, most unpredictable and devastating diseases, while giving caring support to those who suffer from its brutal impact. Through a comprehensive program of research, education, and advocacy, we lead the fight to improve the quality of life for all people affected by lupus. Learn more about the Lupus Foundation of America at

About Lupus
Lupus is an unpredictable and misunderstood autoimmune disease that ravages different parts of the body. It is difficult to diagnose, hard to live with and a challenge to treat. Lupus is debilitating and destructive and can be fatal, yet research on lupus remains underfunded relative to diseases of similar scope and devastation. Approximately 1.5 million Americans live with lupus.

Mike Donnelly
Lupus Foundation of America
(202) 349-1162

Veronica Hunt
(213) 929-2689



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SOURCE Lupus Foundation of America


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