Vol 10, No 3 (2021)
Case report
Published online: 2021-03-05

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Hydroxychloroquine used to treat diabetic hand syndrome: a case report

Saibal Chakravorty1, Aditya Chakravorty2
Clin Diabetol 2021;10(3):307-309.


Increased incidence of musculoskeletal disorders has
been linked with diabetes mellitus (DM). Focus of antidiabetic
therapy is prominently towards controlling
blood glucose levels along with prevention and management
of micro- and macrovascular complications.
These complaints often receive less attention and are
undertreated. No specific drug treatment has been
recommended for the management of musculoskeletal
complications of DM. Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) decreases
joint inflammation and pain in rheumatoid arthritis
(RA). In India, due to its proven antidiabetic effect,
it is officially approved for the management of type 2
diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Due to its anti-inflammatory
and antidiabetic effect, it may alter the clinical course
of musculoskeletal complications in T2DM patients.
We report a case of 55-year-old male patient, diagnosed
with T2DM since last 6 years. The patient
had bilateral musculoskeletal involvement of upper
extremities at the time of presentation. He had difficulty
in moving smaller joints of hand, closing of
fist and trigger finger, all suggestive of diabetic hand
syndrome. Good improvement in joint mobility was
observed after initiation of HCQ 400 mg once daily as
add-on to existing antidiabetic regimen.
HCQ was found to be effective in relieving symptoms
of musculoskeletal complications as well as controlling
blood glucose level in our patient. More clinical studies
investigating use of HCQ in diabetic musculoskeletal
complications are warranted.

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