Aralen (Chloroquine Phosphate)
Aralen (Chloroquine Phosphate) Dosage and Side Effects
ARALEN is used to prevent and treat malaria — a mosquito-borne disease caused by a parasite — and to treat amebiasis, an infection of the intestines caused by a parasite.
This medicine is also sometimes given off-label to help the following conditions:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Arthritis in children
- Lupus(an autoimmune disease characterized by inflammation and a variety of symptoms)
- Skin conditions
- Sarcoidosis(a condition characterized by the growth of inflammatory cells in the body)
Proper Use of this medication
ARALEN comes as a tablet, liquid, or injection.
Your dose will depend on your medical condition, age, weight, and response to treatment.
You can take this medicine with food if it causes an upset stomach.
Injections of ARALEN are usually given at your doctor's office, a hospital, or another clinic setting. But you may also be shown how to inject the medicine at home.
Follow the instructions on your prescription label carefully. Don't take more or less ARALEN than is recommended.
Malaria prevention (oral): If you're taking oral ARALEN for the prevention of malaria, it's typically taken once a week on the same day of each week.
Your first dose is usually taken two weeks before you travel to an area where malaria is common.
Then, you'll continue to take the medicine while you're in the area and for about eight weeks after you return home.
Malaria treatment (oral): To treat malaria in adults, one dose of oral ARALEN is usually given right away.
Then, half the dose is taken six to eight hours later.
This is typically followed by half the dose once a day for the next two days.
Amebiasis treatment (oral): To treat amebiasis in adults, one oral dose of ARALEN is usually taken for two days.
Then, half the dose is given every day for two to three weeks.
Ask your doctor about what ARALEN dose to take to treat rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or sarcoidosis.
Symptoms of a ARALEN overdose may include:
- Blurred vision
- Excessive excitability
- Mood changes
- Irregular heartbeat
- Slow, shallow breathing
- Loss of consciousness
If you suspect an overdose, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately.
You can get in touch with a poison control center at 800-222-1222.
Missed Dose of ARALEN:
If you miss a dose of ARALEN, take it as soon as you remember.
But if it's almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular medication schedule.
Don't double up on doses to make up for a missed one.
Common Side Effects of ARALEN
Tell your doctor if any of the following side effects become severe or don't go away:
- Loss of appetite
- Mild dizziness
- Mild diarrhea
- Mild headache
- Nausea or stomach cramps
Serious Side Effects of ARALEN
Tell your doctor right away if you experience any of the following severe side effects:
- Unusual behavior or mood changes
- Severe diarrhea
- Vision problems or blurred vision
- Trouble reading words or seeing parts of objects
- Sensitivity to sunlight
- Hearing loss
- Ringing in the ears
- Change in skin color
- Change in color of the inside of your mouth
- Fever or sore throat
- Hair loss
- Weight loss
- Unusual weakness
- Difficulty speaking
- Loss of balance
- Uncontrolled movements
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- Dark-colored urine
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes
- Irregular heartbeat
- Signs of a severe allergic reaction, which may include hives, rash, itching, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, or swelling of the face, mouth, lips, or tongue
Warnings and Precautions
Before taking ARALEN, tell your doctor if you have, or have ever had:
- Liver disease
- Hearing problems
- Eye or vision problems
- Weakness in your knees and ankles
- G6PD deficiency (a genetic disorder)
- Porphyria (a blood disorder)
- Stomach or intestinal problems
- Kidney disease
- Allergiesto medicines
Also, let your doctor know if you drink large amounts of alcohol before starting on this medicine.
Your doctor will probably want to order frequent tests to check your body's response to ARALEN. Keep all appointments with your doctor and laboratory.
Let your healthcare provider know if your symptoms either don't improve or worsen while taking this medicine.
ARALEN may make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Avoid unnecessary sun exposure and tanning booths and wear sunscreen and protective clothing when outdoors.
Don't receive any vaccination (especially a rabies vaccine) while using ARALEN without first discussing it with your doctor.
Pregnancy and ARALEN
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ARALEN is considered safe to use during pregnancy.
Tell your doctor if you're pregnant or might become pregnant while taking ARALEN. You'll have to discuss the risks and benefits of using this medicine during pregnancy.
ARALEN passes into breast milk and may harm a breastfeeding baby. Don't breastfeed while taking this drug without first talking to your healthcare provider.
Interactions with this medication
Tell your doctor about all prescription, nonprescription, illegal, recreational, herbal, nutritional, or dietary drugs you're taking, especially:
- Antacids, such as Tagamet (cimetidine)and others
- Arsenic trioxide
- Rheumatrex, Trexall (methotrexate)
- Tylenol (acetaminophen)
- Iron products
- Rifadin or Rimactane (rifampin)
- Nydrazid (isoniazid)
- Medication for irregular heartbeat
- Medication for depressionor anxiety
- Vitaminsand herbal products
ARALEN and Other Interactions:
ARALEN may cause dizziness.
Don't drive, operate machinery, or perform other tasks that require alertness until you know how this medicine affects you.
ARALEN and Alcohol:
Alcohol may worsen certain side effects of ARALEN.
Talk to your doctor about this potential interaction.
Other related products
The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.