Chloroquine

Order safe and effective antimalarials from Dr Felix

Chloroquine is no longer available from Dr Felix, but we still have a range of malaria tablets available.

Malaria can begin rapidly; therefore, we recommend protection with antimalarial tablets

Our prices

Strength Quantity Price Stock
250mg12 tablets£11.99Out of Stock
250mg14 tablets£13.99Out of Stock
250mg16 tablets£15.99Out of Stock
250mg18 tablets£17.99Out of Stock
250mg20 tablets£19.99Out of Stock
250mg22 tablets£21.99Out of Stock
250mg26 tablets£23.99Out of Stock
250mg34 tablets£29.99Out of Stock
250mg62 tablets£56.99Out of Stock
250mg114 tablets£99.99Out of Stock
Prices exclude a prescription fee. This treatment requires a quick online consultation,
which a doctor will review to determine if a prescription is appropriate.

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Information

Virginia Chachati

Reviewed by Virginia Chachati MPharm
(2013, University College London)
GPhC Registration number: 2087654

Information last reviewed 31/01/21

About

What is Chloroquine?

Chloroquine is a medicine to prevent malaria, which is a life-threatening disease caused by mosquitoes. If you get malaria from a mosquito bite you can take Chloroquine as a treatment.

How does Chloroquine work?

Chloroquine works by killing malarial parasites within your red blood cells and preventing them from multiplying and invading other red blood cells. Malarial parasites, known as plasmodium, are carried by mosquitoes. If you get a mosquito bite, the malarial parasite gets into your bloodstream. To prevent malaria, take Chloroquine a week before you travel, during your stay, and after you leave a malarial area as your doctor has instructed.

Can Chloroquine cure malaria?

Chloroquine can stop you from getting malaria. If you do contract the disease, you should see a healthcare professional right away. They may recommend Chloroquine to treat malaria or prescribe a different medicine.

Is Chloroquine safe?

Chloroquine is safe to use in most people as long as you follow the instructions your doctor will give you. Chloroquine is not suitable for everyone, and it can be toxic if you overdose.

Ingredients

Active ingredients

The active ingredient is Chloroquine phosphate.

Inactive ingredients

Magnesium stearate (E572) and maise starch are the inactive ingredients in Chloroquine. 

Please note: Some different brands of generic Chloroquine may contain different inactive ingredients.

Dosage

Chloroquine dosage

Each tablet is a 250mg dose. Generally, you take two tablets once a week.

How to take Chloroquine?

Take two Chloroquine tablets once a week. You should start to take Chloroquine one week before you travel, continue with the medicine for the duration of your trip, and for four weeks after you leave the area. You need to take Chloroquine tablets after food and with a glass of water or juice. For children under 14, the doses are smaller. Speak to the prescribing doctor about a suitable dose for children.

Side Effects

Does Chloroquine cause photosensitivity?

Yes, being sensitive to light is one of the possible side effects of Chloroquine.

Chloroquine side effects

There are several possible side effects associated with Chloroquine. You may experience: 

  • Changes to your heartbeat 
  • Feeling faint or dizzy from low blood pressure
  • Lung inflammation
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Muscle spasms
  • Insomnia
  • Mood changes
  • Rash
  • Light sensitivity 
  • Hair loss
  • Blurred eyesight or difficulty focusing 
  • Tinnitus
  • Reduced blood cells
  • Liver problems 
  • Upset stomach

You may not experience any side effects, if you do, you should let your GP know as it may be necessary to switch to a more suitable medicine.

Contraindications

Do not take Chloroquine if you are allergic to any of the ingredients or if you currently take Amiodarone to steady your heart rate. Take Chloroquine with caution if you have:

  • Epilepsy 
  • Had liver or kidney problems in the past
  • Porphyria (a rare blood disease)
  • Psoriasis
  • Myasthenia gravis (a muscular condition)
  • Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency
  • A history, or family history, of heart problems 

If any of these issues apply to you, then ask your doctor for advice before taking Chloroquine. 

Drug interactions

You cannot take Chloroquine at the same time as Amiodarone. Consult your doctor if you are taking any of the following:

  • Praziquantel 
  • Cyclosporine
  • Anti-convulsant medication 
  • Digoxin
  • Warfarin
  • Antiarrhythmics 
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Antipsychotics 
  • Mefloquine
  • Levothyroxine
  • Epilepsy treatment
  • Agalsidase
  • Boosted protease-inhibitors 
  • Cimetidine
  • Adsorbents
  • Antacids

Chloroquine and pregnancy

Chloroquine is generally safe to use during pregnancy. Pregnant women should not travel to regions where malaria is present. Pregnant women have a higher risk of catching malaria. Malaria can cause health problems for the mother and child.

Chloroquine and alcohol

Drinking alcohol can make the side effects of Chloroquine worse. If you drink alcohol with chloroquine see your doctor. In general, try to drink in moderation.

Treatment Options

For which countries is Chloroquine suitable?

Chloroquine is not usually suitable to prevent malaria on its own as it doesn’t protect against the most dangerous form of the parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. It can provide some protection in certain countries in sub-Saharan Africa, South America, and Asia. Depending upon the area you are traveling to, different forms of the parasite may be present and they may have developed resistance to certain antimalarial medications. Therefore you should discuss your travel plans with your doctor so they can prescribe you the most suitable treatment for your destination. You can also look at our malaria map and risk list to determine which medications you may need when you travel.

How effective is Chloroquine?

Chloroquine is only effective in certain parts of the world where the Plasmodium falciparum parasite is not present. Your doctor or pharmacist can prescribe you the most suitable treatment depending on where you are traveling.

Other ways to avoid malaria

Whilst antimalarials are usually the best way to prevent malaria, there are other steps you can take to reduce your risk of malaria:

  • Cover up with adequate clothing in the evening and overnight as this is the time when mosquitoes bite.
  • Air conditioning or plug-in insect repellent can help stop mosquitoes from coming near you.
  • Wear insect repellent on exposed skin to prevent mosquitoes from landing on you.
  • Sleep underneath a mosquito net treated with insecticide to stop mosquitoes from biting you.

But remember, in most cases, antimalarial tablets are still the best option in addition to these measures because it can be difficult to prevent all mosquito bites.

Chloroquine alternatives

Other types of medicine designed to prevent malaria are Malarone (Atovaquone and Proguanil), Doxycycline and Lariam (Mefloquine). Chloroquine may not be suitable to use for your trip as there are many countries where the malarial parasite is resistant to it.

Q&A

Is Chloroquine available on the NHS?

Chloroquine is available to buy on prescription, but it is not available on the NHS.

Does Chloroquine protect against malaria?

Chloroquine may protect against malaria in countries where the Plasmodium falciparum parasite is not present. The medicine is more effective in combination with another tablet, called Proguanil, at protecting you from malaria in certain countries.

Should I buy Chloroquine before I travel?

Yes, you should buy Chloroquine before you travel as you’ll need to start taking one week before you travel. In this way, you can start to protect yourself against malaria.

Can Chloroquine help lupus?

A doctor can prescribe Chloroquine along with other medicines to treat lupus. It helps to combat the sensitivity to UV light from sunlight and improves skin lesions. Chloroquine usually takes a couple of months to have an impact on lupus.

Does Chloroquine increase your cancer risk?

Chloroquine is not known to increase your risk of cancer.

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