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Aralen (Generic Chloroquine)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Malaria is treated with and prevented using chloroquine phosphate. Amebiasis can also be treated with it. Antimalarials and amebicides are a class of medications that includes chloroquine phosphate. It functions by eradicating the parasites that cause amebiasis and malaria.

How should this medicine be used?

To be swallowed whole, chloroquine phosphate is available as a tablet. Adults typically take one dose once each week on the same day of the week to avoid malaria. How many tablets you should take for each dose will be specified by your doctor. One dose is required starting two weeks prior to travel to a region where malaria is widespread, for the duration of your stay, and then for eight weeks following your return from the region. Your doctor might advise you to immediately take twice the recommended dose of chloroquine if you are unable to begin taking it for two weeks before to going (for the first dose).

Adults who experience rapid, severe bouts of malaria often receive one dose right away, followed by one-half of the dose six to eight hours later, and one-half of the dose once daily for the following two days.

The dosage of chloroquine phosphate is determined by the child’s weight for the prevention and treatment of malaria in infants and young children. The dosage of chloroquine phosphate your child should take will be determined by your doctor based on this calculation.

One dose is often used for two days to treat amebiasis, followed by half the dose every day for two to three weeks. Usually, it is administered along with other amebicides.

The drug chloroquine phosphate may upset your stomach. With food, take chloroquine phosphate.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Follow the chloroquine phosphate directions exactly. Use it only as directed by your doctor, neither more nor less often.

Other uses for this medicine

Chloroquine phosphate is infrequently used to treat sarcoidosis, discoid lupus erythematosus, systemic lupus erythematosus, and porphyria cutanea tarda. Discuss the potential dangers of using this medication for your illness with your doctor.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you’re interested in using this medication for any other conditions.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before using chloroquine phosphate,

  • If you have an allergy to any medications, including hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), chloroquine phosphate, or chloroquine hydrochloride, tell your doctor right once.
  • Inform your doctor and pharmacist about all prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal products that you are now taking or intend to use. Mention acetaminophen (Tylenol, other), azithromycin (Zithromax), cimetidine (Tagamet), cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune), oral diabetes medications, carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epitol, Equetro, Tegretol, Teril), phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek), or valproic acid (Depakene) (Nolvadex). Your physician might need to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a close eye on you for side effects. Tell your doctor about all the drugs you are taking, including ones that don’t interact with chloroquine because many other drugs can.
  • Take antacids 4 hours before or 4 hours after taking chloroquine if you’re taking them. Ampicillin should be taken at least two hours before or two hours after chloroquine if you are taking it.
  • Inform your physician if you have or have ever had liver disease, heart disease, a prolonged QT interval (a rare heart condition that can cause irregular heartbeat, fainting, or sudden death), an irregular heartbeat, low blood levels of magnesium or potassium, G-6-PD deficiency (an inherited blood disorder), hearing issues, porphyria or other blood disorders, psoriasis, seizures, weakness in your knees and ankles, diabetes, or if you consume large amounts of alcohol
  • If you have ever experienced vision changes while taking chloroquine phosphate, chloroquine hydrochloride, or hydroxychloroquine, be sure to let your doctor know (Plaquenil).
  • If you are pregnant or want to become pregnant, let your doctor know. Call your doctor right away if you get pregnant while taking chloroquine phosphate.
  • If you are currently breastfeeding or intend to do so, let your doctor know. A nursing infant could be harmed by chloroquine phosphate.
  • Avoid getting any shots without first consulting your doctor.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Maintain your regular diet while taking chloroquine phosphate, unless your doctor directs you otherwise.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If the next dose is almost due, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing schedule. To make up for a missed dose, do not take a second one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Chloroquine phosphate may cause side effects. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Reduced appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Uneasy stomach
  • Abdominal pain
  • Rash\Itching
  • Hair fall

Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Observing light streaks and flashes
  • Distorted vision
  • Having trouble reading or seeing (words disappear, seeing half an object, misty or foggy vision)
  • Trouble hearing
  • Hearing ringing
  • Muscle tremor
  • Drowsiness
  • Vomiting
  • Abnormal heartbeats
  • Convulsions
  • Having trouble breathing
  • Mental or emotional changes
  • Loss of consciousness or a reduction in consciousness
  • Considering injuring or killing oneself

You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Store it away from light, excessive heat, and moisture at room temperature (not in the bathroom).

Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website at for additional information.

As many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning.

In case of emergency/overdose

Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Additionally, information can be found online at Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.

Overdose symptoms could include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Visual alterations
  • Convulsions
  • Abnormal heartbeat

What other information should I know?

Keep the medication away from children as they are more susceptible to an overdose.

Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. To determine how you are responding to chloroquine phosphate, your doctor may request a number of lab assessments and electrocardiograms (EKGs), a test that measures your heart rate and rhythm. Additionally, your doctor will examine your reflexes to check for muscle weakness that could be brought on by the medication.

Your doctor would advise regular eye exams if you use chloroquine phosphate for a long time. You must be very careful to keep these appointments. Serious vision problems may result from using chloroquine phosphate. Call your doctor right away and stop taking chloroquine phosphate if you notice any changes in your vision.

No one else should take your medication. Any queries you may have regarding medication refills should be directed to your pharmacist.

You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Aralen®
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