Aralen (Chloroquine)

Aralen (chloroquine phosphate) is an oral drug used to treat or prevent malaria infections and amebiasis.

Pharmacology

Immunosuppressive, antiarrhythmic, antiprotozoal effects.

Indications

  • Malaria caused by plasmodia sensitive to the drug;
  • Prevention of malaria in individuals who have visited endemic areas;
  • Amoebiasis;
  • Diseases of the joints, connective tissue and skin (as an additional treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, photodermatosis and porphyria).

How to take Aralen?

  • Malaria prevention: Adults are recommended to start using the drug 1–2 weeks before visiting the endemic area and continue for 4–6 weeks after returning from it. Take 2 tablets (0.5 g) every week on the same day of the week. The dose for children is determined taking into account body weight (7.6 mg/kg). The method and duration of treatment are the same as for adults;
  • Treatment of malaria bouts: Adults start with 1 g, after 6-8 hours — they take 500 mg, on the 2nd and 3rd day – 500 mg. The initial dose for children is 16 mg / kg at 1 dose, after 6-8 hours – 7.6 mg / kg, on the 2nd and 3rd day – 7.6 mg / kg / day;
  • Treatment of amoebiasis: Adults take 4 tablets (1.0 g) per day for 2 weeks, then 2 tablets (0.5 g) per day for 2–3 weeks. For children, the daily dose is prescribed taking into account body weight (16 mg/kg). The method and duration of use are the same as in adults;
  • Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus: Adults are recommended to take 250 mg/day. The therapeutic effect is usually manifested after 4 weeks. After reaching the maximum effect, the dose of Aralen can be reduced.

Side effects

  • Digestive system: nausea, vomiting, gastralgia;
  • Nervous system: dizziness, headache, sleep disturbances, psychoses, epileptic seizures;
  • Cardiovascular system: myocardial damage with changes in the ECG, decreased blood pressure;
  • Sensory organs: with prolonged use – cloudy cornea, damage to the retina, impaired vision, ringing in the ears;
  • Allergic reactions: dermatitis, photosensitivity;
  • Other: myalgia, leukopenia, discoloration of the skin and hair.

Interaction with other drugs

Antacids disrupt absorption, cimetidine increases the concentration in the blood plasma. Combined use of chloroquine and other antimalarial drugs can give an antagonistic effect. Aralen is incompatible with gold preparations, penicillamine, phenylbutazone, cytostatics, levamisole (neurotoxicity and the likelihood of skin reactions increase). Combined use of chloroquine and glucocorticoids increases the risk of myopathy and cardiomyopathy. Combined use of chloroquine and MAO inhibitors increases the risk of toxicity. Combined use of chloroquine and ethanol increases the risk of hepatotoxicity. Combined use of chloroquine and cardiac glycosides increases the risk of glycosidic intoxication.

Overdose

  • Symptoms: vomiting, impaired consciousness, visual disturbances, convulsions, collapse, respiratory depression, up to death (within 2 hours from the moment of respiratory depression);
  • Treatment: inducing vomiting, gastric lavage, ingestion of activated charcoal in a dose 5 times exceeding the expected dose of chloroquine; peritoneal dialysis, plasmapheresis.

Special instructions

Aralen is used with caution in cases of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, impaired liver and / or kidney function, porphyria, psoriasis, and epilepsy. During treatment, systematic ophthalmological examinations and a general blood test are necessary.

Pregnancy and lactation: The drug is contraindicated for use during pregnancy and lactation (breastfeeding).

Use in patients with impaired liver function: contraindicated.

Use in patients with impaired renal function: contraindicated.

Storage

Store the drug in a place inaccessible to children, at room temperature. Shelf life is 5 years. Do not use the expired drug.

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