chloroquine (generic name)

It is used to treat or prevent malaria infections
(KLOR oh kwin)
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What is this medicine?

CHLOROQUINE (KLOR oh kwin) is used to treat or prevent malaria infections. It is also used to treat amebiasis.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • eye disease, vision problems
  • glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency
  • hearing problems
  • liver disease
  • psoriasis
  • history of seizures
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. To prevent malaria, take this medicine on the same day each week starting 2 weeks before entering the endemic area and continue for 8 weeks after leaving. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • arsenic trioxide
  • chlorpromazine
  • cisapride
  • droperidol
  • medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
  • medicines for irregular heartbeats, rhythm
  • methadone
  • pentamidine
  • ranolazine
  • some antibiotics like erythromycin, levofloxacin

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • ampicillin
  • antacids
  • cimetidine
  • cyclosporine
  • kaolin

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Tell your doctor or health care professional if your symptoms do not start to get better in a few days. If you are taking this medicine for a long time, visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks. If you notice any changes in your vision see your eye doctor for an eye exam.

If you get a fever during or after you start taking this medicine, do not treat yourself. Contact your doctor or health care professional immediately.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells.

While in areas where malaria is common, you should take steps to prevent being bit by mosquitos. This includes staying in air-conditioned or well-screened rooms to reduce human-mosquito contact, sleep under mosquito netting, preferably one with pyrethrum-containing insecticide, wear long-sleeved shirts or blouses and long trousers to protect arms and legs, apply mosquito repellents containing DEET to uncovered areas of skin, and use a pyrethrum-containing flying insect spray to kill mosquitos.

This medicine can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.

Avoid products with antacids and kaolin for 4 hours before and after taking a dose of this medicine.

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Last Updated: March 23, 2009
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