Aralen (Chloroquine Phosphate)

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What is Chloroquine prescribed for?

Chloroquine (Aralen) is a medication often used to prevent and treat malaria. Also one dose can be taken two weeks in advance before traveling to an area where malaria is common, also to be taken while in the area, and eight weeks after your return.  Occasionally it is used to treat amebiasis.


How does Chloroquine work?

Malaria is usually carried by mosquitoes, and injected into the blood stream by an infected mosquito puncturing the skin.  Once in the blood, the parasites travel to the liver, where they multiply. They are then released back into the blood stream, where they multiply again and again.  A full Malaria attack develops when the red blood cells burst, releasing a mass amount of parasites into the blood stream.

Chloroquine works by attacking the parasites, once they have entered the red blood cells. And it prevents them from multiplying any further. It works by blocking the chemical that they parasites produce to protect themselves inside the red blood cells. It is advised to not take any other dosage then what has been prescribed by your doctor. If your dose is not listed here, do not change how you are taking this medication without consulting your doctor first. Also consult your doctor and what other medications can be taken along side Chloroquine.

Chloroquine comes in the form of a tablet, taken by mouth. One dose is usually taken once a week, on exactly the same day per week, for adults.  When traveling, one dose is taken beginning 2 weeks before going abroad, while you are in the area, and then for 8 weeks after your return home.

Consult with your doctor about any known allergies before taking Chloroquine. Speak with your doctor about any known medical conditions relating to liver disease, G-6-PD deficiency, hearing problems, porpyria, or other hearing problems. Tell your doctor about any current medications or supplementation to avoid interactions with Chloroquine.

These are the various side effects that can occure. Tell your doctor right away if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away. The symptoms include; 
Headaches, loss of appetite, diarrhea, upset stomache, stomache pain, skin rash or itching, hair loss, mood or mental changes.

If you experience any of these symptoms, call  your doctor immediately.
Seeing light flashes and streaks, blurred vision, reading and seeing diffifulties, difficulty hearing, msucle weakness, drowsiness, vomiting, irregular heartbeats, convulsions, difficulty breathing.

What is this medicine?

Chloroquine is used to treat or prevent malaria infections. It is also used to treat amebiasis.

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Avoid taking antacids within 4 hours of taking this medicine. It is best to separate these medicines by at least 4 hours. You can take it with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Take all of your medicine as directed even if you think you are better. Do not skip doses or stop your medicine early.

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.

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