Categories: Medicine

Chloroquine: Indications, Side Effects, Interactions and Overdose

Chloroquine

Chloroquine is the oldest and well-known anti-malarial medicines.

It is pronounced as “klor’ oh kwin”.

Indications

  • Chloroquine is indicated in the treatment of malaria that is caused by the bite of the female anopheles mosquito in different countries where malaria is very common.
  • Malaria parasites may move into the human body through the bite of the mosquito, and then remain in the human body tissues such as red blood cells (RBC’s) or the liver. This medicine is used to eradicate the malarial parasites alive inside red blood cells.
  • In some cases, primaquine is required to destroy the malaria parasites alive in other body tissues. Both of the medicines are desired for a thorough cure and to stop the relapse. Chloroquine belongs to a class of medicines that are known as anti-malarial.
  • The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provide well-informed guidelines and travel recommendations or references for the prevention and management of malaria in multiple countries of the world.
  • Chloroquine is also indicated in the treatment of infection caused by multiple types of parasite i.e. ameba by destroying the ameba.

How to use Chloroquine?

Chloroquine in case of malaria

Chloroquine (tab. Rasochin containing 250 mg chloroquine phosphate while chloroquine base =150mg).

  • Total 10 tablet course.
  • Treatment for 2-3 week course of primaquine(15mg/day), hepatic hypnozoites and prevent relapse.
  • Chloroquine + Primaquine
  • Amodiaquine + primaquine  (In case of chloroquine resistance or intolerance)

Take this medicine by mouth (oral), usually with the use of food to avoid stomach problems. Every day or weekly medication, quantity, and duration of treatment is depending on the medical condition of the patient.

The dosage of medicine in children also depends on weight. Try to take this medicine at-least four hours before or after taking the anti-diarrheal and antacids. Because these drugs have a tendency to bind with chloroquine and preventing the body from completely absorbing the medicine.

It is most important to carry on taking this medicine precisely as suggested by the specialist.

It is a very significant step to avoid mosquito bites such as the use of suitable insect repellents, wearing full-body clothes that cover and protect the whole body. Try to stay in air-conditioned and well-screened areas.

The use of mosquito nets and insect-killing spray is effective. Always ask the pharmacists to suggest the applicable strengths of repellent for your family.

However, there is no medical treatment that is wholly effective in the prevention of malaria. Therefore, seek instant medical attention if any of these symptoms of malaria happens fever, chills, headache, other flu-like symptoms.

Side Effects

Following are the side effects associated with the use of chloroquine

  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea

If any of these side effects continue or worsen, go to the doctor or pharmacist on time. Seek the doctor immediately in case of any serious side effects including

  • Bleaching of hair color
  • Alopecia
  • Mental changes like confusion, personality changes, hallucinations, and depression.
  • Change in hearing patterns like ringing in the ears and hearing loss.
  • Darkening of skin inside the mouth.
  • Worsening of skin diseases like dermatitis and psoriasis.

Precautions

  1. However, before using the chloroquine, ask your pharmacist that you are hypersensitive to it and to the hydroxychloroquine. This medicine may contain inactive constituents, which may cause other hypersensitive responses or other difficulties.
  2. In case of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency-G6PD), vision difficulties, hearing problems, kidney illness, liver illness, alcohol misuse, psoriasis, porphyria and seizures, the patient should consult the physician before using this medicine.
  3. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana.

Interactions

Some products that may interact with this drug include:

  • Agalsidase
  • Mefloquine
  • Penicillamine
  • Sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine, products that may harm the liver.
  • Acetaminophen, isoniazid, and alcohol may harm the human liver.
  • Cimetidine and other antacids may interact with chloroquine.
  • Chloroquine may reduce the quantity of ampicillin and the ampicillin may not work properly.

Overdose

If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble to breathe then immediately contact your physician. Symptoms of overdose may comprise:

  1. Fast heartbeat
  2. Fainting
  3. Low breathing
  4. Tongue and face twitching
  5. Seizures
  6. Coma

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