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chloroquine (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking chloroquine (Aralen Phosphate)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), or if you have a history of vision changes or damage to your retina caused by chloroquine or similar anti-malaria medications.

To make sure chloroquine is safe for you, tell your doctor about your other medical conditions, especially:

  • psoriasis;
  • porphyria;
  • liver disease;
  • alcoholism;
  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
  • glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency; or
  • a history of problems with your vision or hearing.

It is not known whether chloroquine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

Malaria is more likely to cause death in a pregnant woman. If you are pregnant, talk with your doctor about the risks of traveling to areas where malaria is common.

It is not known whether chloroquine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using chloroquine.

How should I take chloroquine (Aralen Phosphate)?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Chloroquine is sometimes given only once per week. Choose the same day each week to take this medication if you are on a weekly dosing schedule.

To prevent malaria: Start taking the medicine 2 weeks before entering an area where malaria is common. Continue taking the medicine regularly during your stay and for at least 8 weeks after you leave the area.

Take chloroquine for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. If you are taking this medicine to treat malaria, your symptoms may get better before the infection is completely treated.

Use chloroquine regularly to best prevent malaria. If you stop using the medication early for any reason, talk to your doctor about other forms of malaria prevention.

In addition to taking chloroquine, use protective clothing, insect repellents, and mosquito netting around your bed to further prevent mosquito bites that could cause malaria.

If you use this medication long-term, your blood will need to be tested often. You may also need eye exams, and your doctor may need to check your knee and ankle reflexes. Visit your doctor regularly.

No medication is 100% effective in treating or preventing malaria. For best results, keep using the medication as directed.

Contact your doctor as soon as possible if you have been exposed to malaria, or if you have fever or other symptoms of illness during or after a stay in an area where malaria is common.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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