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.
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.
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.
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.
The active ingredient is Chloroquine phosphate.
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.
Each tablet is a 250mg dose. Generally, you take two tablets once a week.
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.
Yes, being sensitive to light is one of the possible side effects of Chloroquine.
There are several possible side effects associated with Chloroquine. You may experience:
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.
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:
If any of these issues apply to you, then ask your doctor for advice before taking Chloroquine.
You cannot take Chloroquine at the same time as Amiodarone. Consult your doctor if you are taking any of the following:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Whilst antimalarials are usually the best way to prevent malaria, there are other steps you can take to reduce your risk of malaria:
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 is available to buy on prescription, but it is not available on the NHS.
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.
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.
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.
Chloroquine is not known to increase your risk of cancer.