Chloroquine is considered to be an antiprotozoal, nonspecific anti-inflammatory, immunosuppressive agent. It is used primarily to treat and prevent malaria but is sometimes used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and a number of infectious liver and skin health issues.

It causes the death of asexual erythrocyte forms of all types of malarial plasmodia. Due to the inhibition of the synthesis of nucleic acids, it has a moderately pronounced immunosuppressive and nonspecific anti-inflammatory effect. Its trade names include Avioclor and Nivaquine.


Chloroquine is an aminoquinoline derivative developed for the treatment of malaria in the 1940s. The drug remained the drug of first choice until the emergence of new drugs (pyrimethamine, artemisin, and mefloquine).

Over time, Chloroquine and its derivative hydroxychloroquine gained new indications for several other diseases, including various types of lupus, amebic liver abscess, hepatitis, as well as rheumatoid arthritis.

Due to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, in March 2020, the FDA issued an Emergency Authorization for the use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine without an approved indication for treating this infection.

During lactation, it is recommended to stop taking chloroquine. This medication, though, can still be prescribed to pregnant women to treat and prevent malaria, but it should be borne in mind that chloroquine can have a toxic effect on the fetus.

Price of Aralen Generic

Thirty tablets of Chloroquine 250mg in Canada would cost around $60-65. In the USA, individuals would need to pay $160+ for the same amount of Chloroquine 250mg. Please note that this medication is sold only to those who have a prescription.

As you can see, it is a lot cheaper to order this medication from Canada if you live in the USA. If you are looking for other ways to save consider buying a different brand name. It is best to ask your doctor about such analogs at the time of appointment. After all, depending on the country of production and the technology of a particular manufacturer, a drug with the same amount of the same active substance may have different effectiveness. At the same time, for almost every drug, you can choose an analog that is actually not inferior in quality, but much cheaper.

You can also track promotions and discounts in pharmacies. For this, it is better to subscribe to mailing lists from specific pharmacy chains. When possible, it is worth buying large packages of medicine, since it often turns out to be cheaper than when taking it in minimal doses. However, this rule can only be applied to drugs that are prescribed to you on a regular basis.

How to use

Chloroquine is given orally or by injection. The dose should be taken after meals.

For the prevention of malaria, a 500 mg dosage of Chloroquine is taken 2 times a day in the first week, then 1 time on the same day of the week for four to six weeks.

For the treatment of malaria, the treatment course is slightly different. On the 1st day, the individual would take 1 g once, then, after 6-8 hours, another 500 mg. On the 2nd and 3rd days, a 750 mg daily dose is taken once a day.

Amebiasis is treated by taking 500 mg of this medication 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

The usual dose for rheumatoid arthritis is 250 mg 2 times a day for 7 days, then – 250 mg daily for one year.

Children under the age of 1 year are prescribed 50 mg on the 1st day and on the 2nd and 3rd days – 25 mg. Children 1-6 years old are prescribed 125 mg on the 1st day and on the 2nd and 3rd days – 50 mg. Children 6-10 years old are prescribed 250 mg on the 1st day and on the 2nd and 3rd days – 125 mg. Children 10-15 years old are prescribed 500 mg on the 1st day and on the 2nd-3rd days – 250 mg. With extraintestinal amebiasis, children are prescribed a daily dose of 6 mg/kg, after 2 weeks of treatment, the dose is reduced in half.

Elderly individuals as well as those who have kidney or liver diseases should take this medication with extra care.

Side effects of Chloroquine

Adverse reactions that may occur at recommended dosages for the treatment of indicated diseases are generally not harsh. In cases when long-term high yet appropriate doses are required, for example, treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, the individual is likely to face more serious undesired body reactions.

The side effects of using this medication include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain. One might also have headaches, dizziness, sleep disorders, psychosis, and seizures. Myocardial damage with ECG changes, decreased blood pressure, leukopenia, and thrombocytopenia are side effects that relate to the cardiovascular system.

Allergic reactions to the drug can trigger dermatitis and photosensitivity. Other undesirable effects include myalgia, arthralgia, discoloration of the skin, and hair loss.

With prolonged use, additional symptoms such as clouding of the cornea, damage to the retina, blurred vision, and ringing in the ears can be expected. Individuals should watch out for Myopathy, another negative consequence of long-term use. Also, irreversible retinal damage and coronal changes may develop if this medication is administered for a prolonged period of time. These issues may arise even after the treatment is over.

Overdose of Aralen Generic

Overdose symptoms include headache, impaired consciousness, vomiting, blurred vision, convulsions, and collapse. Death can occur within 2 hours of ingestion from respiratory depression.

To treat Chloroquine overdose, one can turn to stomach pumping, the use of drugs that cause vomiting, dialysis, and plasmapheresis. The use of adsorbents is also reasonable. The goal here is to get this substance out of the body as soon as possible to prevent negative consequences and death.

To avoid overdose, it is worth knowing that to a small extent (about 25%), Chloroquine is metabolized in the body,  while about 70% is excreted unchanged. It is excreted from the body slowly: plasma concentration decreases by 50% within 3 days. Elimination is carried out mainly by excretion in unchanged form by the kidneys, therefore, with a decrease in their function, it can accumulate in the body. Acidification of urine increases the rate of excretion, while alkalization reduces it.


Hypersensitivity to Chloroquine or other ingredients in the formulation, hepatic and/or kidney chronic insufficiency, suppression of bone marrow hematopoiesis, severe lesions of the heart muscle (with rhythm disturbance), neutropenia, psoriatic arthritis, porphyrinuria, pregnancy are all red flags for the use of Chloroquine.  It should not be used in combination with amiodarone.

Individuals should keep in mind that Chloroquine has a negative impact on the ability to drive vehicles and perform work that requires increased attention and speed of mental reactions.

In addition, individuals who have a deficiency of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, retinopathy, epilepsy, myasthenia gravis, severe gastrointestinal diseases, or concomitant use of hepatotoxic drugs should use this medication with caution.

It is also very important to let the doctor know about all the medications one would be taking during the treatment course as Chloroquine has been shown to have severe interaction with multiple drugs.

There is a life-threatening potential consequence that individuals should be aware of when taking this medication. No matter if you have diabetes and receive treatment for it or not, there is a risk of falling into a severe hypoglycemia state, which can include loss of consciousness and cause death if medical assistance is not done in time. Individuals who develop clinical signs of hypoglycemia during treatment should have their blood glucose levels checked and monitored as needed.

When used as malaria prophylaxis, one should consider official recommendations and local information on the prevalence of antimalarial drug resistance. Your doctor will have more detailed information about all the precautions and possible negative consequences. One should never try to use Chloroquine without getting a medical consultation and a prescription first as it is a very high-risk medication and should be taken with caution.

Effectiveness as COVID-19 prevention and treatment medication

COVID-19 is an infectious respiratory disease caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. If the infection becomes severe, people may need intensive care and support in the hospital, including mechanical ventilation. As experts were developing a vaccine, medications used to treat other conditions have been tested for COVID-19, including Chloroquine.

Chloroquine tablets and injections have long been used in malaria to relieve inflammation and reduce fever. Therefore, it was believed that it is possible that the medicine also helps with COVID-19, which also often causes high fever.

The head of the Mediterranean Institute of Infectious Diseases in Marseille (Institut Méditerranée Infection), Didier Raoult, noted that Chloroquine has already shown effectiveness in the fight against the new coronavirus during in vitro experiments. He said the drug’s effectiveness was confirmed by a clinical study on patients in China.

A number of doctors, though, indicate the need for additional research. They stress that clinical trials have not yet been able to conclusively prove that this drug is an effective treatment for patients with COVID-19. At the same time, the risk of side effects, including damage to the kidneys and liver, is very high. Some sources even say that studies showed that patients with COVID-19 and heart disease had serious side effects when using Chloroquine, primarily life-threatening palpitations.

Doctors strongly advise individuals against self-treatment and in case of symptoms of coronavirus, they recommend immediately contacting an emergency.