Aralen (chloroquine)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is Aralen (chloroquine), and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Chloroquine, brand name Aralen, is an anti-malarial drug. It is similar to hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), and is useful in treating several forms of malaria as well as amebiasis that has spread outside of the intestines. Its mechanism of action is unknown; however, malarial parasites invade human red blood cells, and chloroquine may prevent malarial parasites from breaking down (metabolizing) hemoglobin in human red blood cells.  Chloroquine is effective against the malarial parasites Plasmodium vivax, P. malariae, P. ovale, and susceptible strains of P. falciparum.

Is it available as a generic drug?

Yes, chloroquine is available in generic form.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/4/2017

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