chloroquine, Aralen

  • 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.

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GENERIC NAME:chloroquine

BRAND NAME: Aralen

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PRESCRIBED FOR: Chloroquine is used for treating acute attacks of malaria due to P. vivax, P. malariae, P. ovale, and susceptible strains of P. falciparum. The drug is also used for the treatment of extraintestinal amebiasis. Chloroquine is not effective for malaria prevention.

SIDE EFFECTS:

Common side effects of chloroquine include:

Other, rare side effects of chloroquine include:

Possible serious effects of chloroquine include:

There have been rare reports of severe skin reactions such as erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, and exfoliative dermatitis.

Chloroquine may precipitate a severe attack of psoriasis in patients with psoriasis and may worsen porphyria. Chloroquine should not be used in these conditions unless the benefit to the patient outweighs the potential risks.

People with retinal or visual field changes should not use chloroquine unless it is absolutely necessary.

Some strains of P. falciparum are resistant to chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine. Chloroquine resistance is widespread.

Chloroquine should not be used for treatment of P. falciparum infections from areas of chloroquine resistance or malaria occurring in patients where chloroquine prophylaxis has failed.

Patients infected with a resistant strains of plasmodia should be treated with another antimalarial drug.

Retinopathy, maculopathy, irreversible retinal damage, as well as macular degeneration have been reported. Retinopathy from chloroquine may be dose related. Initial and periodic eye examinations are recommended during prolonged treatment. Chloroquine should be discontinued immediately if there are changes in vision.

Chloroquine may cause acute extrapyramidal disorders (abnormal, uncontrollable body movements) that usually resolve after treatment is stopped.

Patients should be observed for evidence of muscular weakness. If weakness occurs treatment should be stopped.

Fatalities have occurred in children from accidental ingestion of small doses of chloroquine. Chloroquine should be kept out of the reach of children.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/19/2016

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