Aralen (Chloroquine)

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Aralen (Chloroquine) is effective against all forms of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium malariae, erythrocyte forms of most strains of Plasmodium falciparum, tissue forms of dysenteric amoeba.

In what cases this drug is taken?

  • Individual prevention and treatment of all types of malaria;
  • Extraintestinal amebiasis.

It is also taken as a part of combination therapy for chronic and subacute forms of systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, photodermatosis, late skin porphyria, extrasystole, paroxysmal form of atrial fibrillation.

How should I take this medicine?

  • Prevention of malaria in the first week, 2 times, then 1 time on the same day of the week – 500 mg each.
  • The treatment of malaria: 1 day once – 1 g, then, after 6-8 hours, another 500 mg, on days 2 and 3 – 750 mg daily in 1 dose.
  • Amoebiasis – 500 mg 3 times a day for 7 days, then 250 mg 3 times a day for another 7 days, then for 2-6 months – 750 mg 2 times a week.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis – 250 mg 2 times a day for 7 days, then – 250 mg daily for 12 months.
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus – 250-500 mg daily.
  • Photodermatosis – during the week, 250 mg daily, then weekly – 500-750 mg.
  • Children under the age of 1 year – in 1 day – 50 mg; on days 2 and 3 – 25 mg.
  • Children 1-6 years old – 125 mg on day 1, 50 mg on days 2 and 3.
  • Children 6-10 years old – 250 mg on day 1, 125 mg on days 2 and 3.
  • Children 10-15 years old in 1 day – 500 mg, in 2-3 days – 250 mg.
  • Extraintestinal amoebiasis, children are prescribed a daily dose of 6 mg/kg, after 2 weeks of treatment, the dose is reduced by 2 times.

What should I tell my doctor before taking this medicine?

  • Hypersensitivity;
  • Impaired liver and kidney function;
  • Severe damage to the heart muscle (with rhythm disturbance);
  • Blood disease;
  • Nervous system disorders;
  • Psoriasis;
  • Porphyrinuria;
  • Diseases of the retina and cornea of the eye;
  • Pregnancy.

Restrictions on Aralen use: deficiency of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, retinopathy, epilepsy, chronic alcoholism.

What are possible side effects of this medicine?

  • Gastrointestinal tract disorders (loss of appetite, abdominal pain);
  • Headache;
  • Dizziness;
  • Sleep disorders.

In the case of long-term use, there may be found the following negative reactions:

  • clouding of the cornea;
  • visual impairment;
  • graying of hair;
  • dermatitis;
  • photosensitivity.

Rare side effects of Aralen are:

  • myocardial and muscle lesions;
  • decreased blood pressure;
  • psychosis;
  • seizures;
  • leukopenia;
  • thrombocytopenia.

With what medications this mdicine can or cannot interact?

  • Antacids disrupt absorption of Aralen, cimetidine increases its concentration in the blood plasma.
  • The combination with other antimalarial drugs can give an antagonistic effect.
  • Aralen (Chloroquine) is incompatible with gold preparations, penicillamine, phenylbutazone, cytostatics, levamisole (neurotoxicity and the likelihood of skin reactions increase).
  • The combination with glucocorticoids increases the risk of developing myopathies and cardiomyopathies.
  • MAO inhibitors increase Aralen toxicity.
  • Ethanol stimulates chloroquine hepatotoxicity.
  • Cardiac glycosides gives the risk of glycosidic intoxication.

Can I overdose?

Symptoms of Aralen overdose: headache, impaired consciousness, vomiting, visual disturbances, cramps and collapse. Death can occur within 2 hours after application from respiratory depression.

Treatment: gastric lavage; activated carbon (in a dose 5 times the expected dose of chloroquine). Peritoneal dialysis is recommended.

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