Medicines & Supplements A to Z > Chloroquine
Last updated on 18/03/2021.
GENERIC NAME: Chloroquine
CHINESE NAME: 氯喹/ 氯奎因
BRAND NAME(S) IN HONG KONG: No pharmaceutical products containing Chloroquine are registered with the Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Hong Kong
DRUG CLASS: Aminoquinoline; Antimalarial agent
USED FOR: Prevention and treatment of malaria, extraintestinal amebiasis, active rheumatoid arthritis, lupus
OTHER DRUGS IN THE SAME CLASS: Amodiaquine, Hydroxychloroquine, Mefloquine, Primaquine
What is Chloroquine for?
Chloroquine is an antimalarial drug. It kills the malaria parasites in red blood cells or the liver, and is used for the prevention and treatment of malaria. It is also indicated for amebic infection outside of the intestines, and for the treatment of rheumatological diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.
Chloroquine is currently under investigation for the treatment of COVID-19. However, the safety and efficacy of Chloroquine are yet to be established for the treatment of COVID-19.
How to use it?
Chloroquine is taken by mouth as conventional tablets. Do not take antacids (e.g. Aluminium Hydroxide) or kaolin 4 hours before or after taking Chloroquine.
For prevention of malaria, the dosage in children is based on weight. The usual adult dosing is 500 mg weekly on the same day every week, starting 1-2 weeks before visiting endemic areas. It is important to continue the treatment while you are still traveling in and for 4 weeks weekly after leaving an area with malaria.
For treatment of malaria, the initial dose is 1 g, followed by 500 mg at 6, 24, and 48 hours after the first dose. Sometimes, you may need to take another medication (e.g. primaquine) if malaria is caused by a specific malaria parasite species.
For treatment of non-intestinal amebic infection, take 1 g daily for 2 days, then 500 mg daily for at least 2-3 weeks.
What are the side effects of Chloroquine?
Chloroquine can cause gastrointestinal side effects such as abdominal pain, anorexia, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting. It can also cause changes to your skin and hair, lightheadedness, headaches, insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Rare side effects include an irregular heartbeat, muscle damage, and retinal toxicity.
Who should not take Chloroquine?
– People who are allergic to Chloroquine or any component of the formulation.
– Long-term use (more than 5 years) at higher doses is associated with retinal toxicity, so it is important to have eyes examined when starting treatment and on a regular basis.
Common dosing schedule:
Take Chloroquine with food to reduce stomach discomfort.
This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.
Some common medications Chloroquine may interact with:
– Antacids, e.g. Aluminium hydroxide, Calcium carbonate
– Antidiabetic agents, e.g. Insulin, Metformin
Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.
Where to buy Chloroquine in Hong Kong?
There are no registered pharmaceutical products containing Chloroquine in Hong Kong. However, its derivative Hydroxychloroquine is available as a prescription only medicine. Click here for more information about Hydroxychloroquine.
For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at https://www.drugoffice.gov.hk/
For detailed information about the use of Chloroquine in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.
Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.