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All about: chloroquine

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Generic Name: chloroquine (KLOR oh quinn)
Brand Names: Aralen Phosphate

What is chloroquine?

Chloroquine is an antimalarial drug. The exact way that chloroquine works is unknown.

Chloroquine is used to treat and to prevent malaria. Chloroquine is also used to treat infections caused by amoebae.

Chloroquine may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about chloroquine?

Use caution when driving or performing other hazardous activities until you know how this medication affects you. Chloroquine may cause visual disturbances such as blurred vision, misty vision, and difficulty focusing. Report any vision or hearing changes to your doctor.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking chloroquine?

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have

  • had a previous allergic reaction to chloroquine;

  • glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD) deficiency;

  • psoriasis;

  • porphyria; or

  • liver disease.

You may not be able to take chloroquine, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during your therapy if you have any of the conditions listed above.

It is not known whether chloroquine will be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take chloroquine without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. It is not known how chloroquine will affect a nursing infant. Do not take chloroquine without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take chloroquine?

Take chloroquine exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass of water. Take chloroquine with food to lessen stomach upset.

It is important to take chloroquine regularly to get the most benefit.

Store chloroquine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and only take the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if an overdose is suspected.

Symptoms of a chloroquine overdose include headache, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, visual changes, seizures, difficulty breathing, and unconsciousness.

What should I avoid while taking chloroquine?

Use caution when driving or performing other hazardous activities until you know how this medication affects you. Chloroquine may cause visual disturbances such as blurred vision, misty vision, and difficulty focusing. Report any vision or hearing changes to your doctor.

Chloroquine side effects

Stop taking chloroquine and seek emergency medical attention if you experience an allergic reaction (flushing; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; vision problems; rash; itching; or fever).

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take chloroquine and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • visual disturbances such as blurred vision, misty vision, and difficulty focusing;

  • hearing loss or ringing in the ears;

  • diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain or upset, vomiting, or loss of appetite;

  • muscle weakness; or

  • a rash.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect chloroquine?

Cimetidine (Tagamet, Tagamet HB) may increase the effects of chloroquine, which could lead to toxicity. Do not take cimetidine without first talking to your doctor.

Kaolin and magnesium trisilicate may decrease the effects of chloroquine. These ingredients can be found in products such as Kaopectate Advanced Formula, Parepectolin, K-Pek, K-C, Kaodene Non-Narcotic, Kao-Spen, Gaviscon, and others.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with chloroquine. Do not take any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products, without frist talking to your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has more information about chloroquine written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Chloroquine is available with a prescription generically and under the brand name Aralen in 250 mg and 500 mg tablets. Aralen is also available as an injection. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.05. Revision Date: 2/13/04 3:57:43 PM.

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