Chloroquine (By mouth)

Introduction

Chloroquine (KLOR-oh-kwin)

Treats malaria and liver disease caused by parasites. It may also be used to treat arthritis.

Brand Name(s)

Aralen Phosphate

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have ever had an allergic reaction to chloroquine or other medicines. You should not use chloroquine if you are pregnant or have a blood disorder.

How to Use This Medicine

Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much to take and how often.
  • Tablets may be taken with food to reduce stomach upset.
  • Do not stop taking the medicine until your doctor tells you to.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you take your medicine once every 7 days, take the missed dose as soon as you can, then skip 7 days before taking another dose.
  • If you take one or more doses every day, take the missed dose as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next regular dose, wait until then to take your medicine and skip the missed dose.
  • You should not use two doses at the same time.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Keep your tablets at room temperature in a tightly closed container, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Keep all medicine away from children.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are taking penicillamine (Cuprimine® or Depen®), or cimetidine (Tagamet®).
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while taking chloroquine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before taking this medicine.
  • Check with your doctor before taking this medicine if you have vision problems, liver disease, a blood disorder, G-6-PD deficiency, or psoriasis.
  • Children are very sensitive to this medicine, and accidental overdoses have occurred with small amounts of chloroquine.
  • Long-term use of this medicine may cause eye problems. Your doctor may want you to visit an eye doctor every 3 to 6 months while taking this medicine.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Confusion, changes in behavior
  • Fainting
  • Vision changes
  • Severe nausea or vomiting
  • Skin rash
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Ringing in the ears or trouble hearing

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Upset stomach, nausea, loss of appetite
  • Mild drowsiness or dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Hair loss or change in hair color

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

         
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