Chloroquine is 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.
How to take
Use Chloroquine as directed by your doctor.
- Chloroquine 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.
Drug Class and Mechanism
Chloroquine is an aminoquinoline. It is thought to kill sensitive malaria parasites by stopping normal metabolism inside the parasite.
If you miss a dose of Chloroquine and are taking it regularly, 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.
Store Chloroquine at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep in a tight, light-resistant container. Keep Chloroquine out of the reach of children and away from pets.
Do not use Chloroquine if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in Chloroquine;
- you have vision problems or retinal changes;
- you are taking arsenic, astemizole, terfenadine, cimetidine, cisapride, quinacrine, or dofetilide.
- Chloroquine may cause dizziness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to Chloroquine. Using Chloroquine 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 may cause increased sensitivity to the sun. Avoid exposure to the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to Chloroquine. Use a sunscreen or protective clothing if you must be outside for a prolonged period.
- 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.
- Lab tests, such as complete blood cell counts and eye tests, may be needed to monitor your progress. Be sure to keep appointments.
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding: If you become pregnant while taking Chloroquine, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Chloroquine during pregnancy. Chloroquine is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Chloroquine.
Possible Side Effects
Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome:
- appetite loss; clumsiness; diarrhea; dizziness; feeling of whirling motion; 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); bizarre behavior; change in color or skin or inside of mouth; diarrhea; difficulty seeing and reading (words, letters, or parts of objects missing when reading); fever or sore throat; hair loss; hearing loss; mood changes; ringing in the ears; seizures; sensitivity to sunlight; unusual bleeding or bruising; unusual weakness; vision problems; weight loss.
Chloroquine is 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.