Generic Name: chloroquine (KLOR-oh-kwin)
Brand Name: Aralen
Chloroquine tablets are used for:
Treating and suppressing acute attacks of certain strains of malaria and a certain type of parasitic infection (extraintestinal amebiasis). It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Chloroquine tablets are an aminoquinoline. It is thought to kill sensitive malaria parasites by stopping normal metabolism inside the parasite.
Do NOT use chloroquine tablets if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in chloroquine tablets
- you have vision problems or retinal changes
- you are taking astemizole, terfenadine, cisapride, nilotinib, quinacrine, tetrabenazine, or dofetilide
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using chloroquine tablets:
Some medical conditions may interact with chloroquine tablets. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines or other substances
- if you have porphyria or any other blood disease, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency, or a history of seizures
- if you have psoriasis, stomach or intestinal problems, liver disease, hearing problems, or central nervous system problems
- if you have a history of alcohol addiction or abuse
- if you will be having a rabies vaccine
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with chloroquine tablets. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Mefloquine because the risk of seizures may be increased
- Antiarrhythmics (eg, amiodarone, disopyramide), arsenic, astemizole, bepridil, cisapride, dofetilide, dolasetron, domperidone, droperidol, halofantrine, haloperidol, iloperidone, lithium, macrolide antibiotics (eg, erythromycin), maprotiline, methadone, nilotinib, paliperidone, pentamidine, phenothiazines (eg, thioridazine), pimozide, quinolone antibiotics (eg, levofloxacin), telithromycin, tetrabenazine, tyrosine kinase receptor inhibitors (eg, lapatinib), terfenadine, or ziprasidone because the risk of severe side effects, including irregular heartbeat, may be increased
- Quinacrine or medicines that may harm the liver (eg, acetaminophen, methotrexate) because they may increase the risk of chloroquine tablets's side effects. Ask your doctor if you are unsure if any of your medicines may harm the liver.
- Cyclosporine because the risk of its side effects may be increased by chloroquine tablets
- Rabies vaccine because its effectiveness may be decreased by chloroquine tablets
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if chloroquine tablets may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use chloroquine tablets:
Use chloroquine tablets as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Chloroquine tablets may be taken with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
- Do not take antacids or products containing kaolin within 4 hours before or after taking chloroquine tablets.
- If you also take ampicillin, do not take it within 2 hours before or after you take chloroquine tablets.
- If you miss a dose of chloroquine tablets, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use chloroquine tablets.
Important safety information:
- Chloroquine tablets may cause blurred vision. Do not drive, operate machinery, or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it. Using chloroquine tablets alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or to perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Chloroquine tablets may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid exposure to the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to chloroquine tablets. Use a sunscreen or protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
- Contact your health care provider if you notice any muscle weakness or problems with vision or hearing. Your knee and ankle reflexes will be tested periodically.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take chloroquine tablets before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Lab tests, such as complete blood cell counts and eye tests, may be needed to monitor your progress. Be sure to keep appointments.
- Use chloroquine tablets with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
- Caution is advised when using chloroquine tablets in CHILDREN because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
- Accidental ingestion of chloroquine tablets in children has been fatal. Keep chloroquine tablets out of the reach of children. In case of overdose, call a doctor or poison control center right away.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant while taking chloroquine tablets, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using chloroquine tablets during pregnancy. Chloroquine tablets are excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking chloroquine tablets.
Possible side effects of chloroquine tablets:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Appetite loss; diarrhea; mild headache; nausea; stomach cramps; vomiting.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); bizarre behavior; change in the color of the skin or the inside of mouth; difficulty seeing or reading (words, letters, or parts of objects missing when reading); dizziness; fever or sore throat; hair loss; hearing loss; mental or mood changes; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; ringing in the ears; seizures; sensitivity to sunlight; symptoms of liver problems (eg, yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, pale stools, persistent nausea or stomach pain); unusual bleeding or bruising; unusual weakness; vision problems (eg, blurred vision, trouble focusing); weight loss.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include blurred vision; drowsiness; excessive excitability; fainting; headache; irregular heartbeat; loss of consciousness; mood changes; seizures; severe drowsiness or dizziness; slow, shallow breathing.Proper storage of chloroquine tablets:
Store chloroquine tablets in a tightly closed container at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep chloroquine tablets out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about chloroquine tablets, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Chloroquine tablets are to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take chloroquine tablets or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about chloroquine tablets. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to chloroquine tablets. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using chloroquine tablets.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.