Chloroquine prevents and treats malaria. Take this medication with food to minimize stomach upset.

Chloroquine Overview

Reviewed: October 2, 2013

Chloroquine is a prescription medication used to prevent and treat malaria. It is also used to treat amebiasis (an infection caused by the parasite Entamoeba histolytica). This medication belongs to a group of drugs called antimalarials and amebicides. The exact way it works to kill parasites is unknown.

Chloroquine comes in tablet form. Take this medication with food to minimize stomach upset. Chloroquine is taken once or twice a day. If used for the prevention of malaria, it is taken once a week beginning 2 weeks prior to traveling to an area where malaria is common.

Common side effects include headache, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and upset stomach.

Chloroquine Genetic Information

G6PD is an enzyme in your body that is responsible for helping red blood cells to work properly. Some patients are born with less of this enzyme in their bodies, leading to the destruction of red blood cells. Chloroquine can also lead to the destruction of red blood cells. When chloroquine is used in patients with G6PD deficiency, they have a higher chance of experiencing hemolytic anemia (a condition in which the body does not have enough red blood cells to deliver oxygen to your tissues).

G6PD testing may be done to determine whether you are at a higher risk of experiencing hemolytic anemia if you are to be treated with chloroquine.

If you need the medication chloroquine and you have a deficiency of G6PD, your doctor will monitor you carefully. 

Patient Ratings for Chloroquine

How was your experience with Chloroquine?

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What are you taking Chloroquine for?

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  • Other
  • Amebiasis
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Discoid
  • Malaria
  • Malaria, Avian
  • Malaria, Falciparum
  • Pemphigus
  • Scleroderma, Systemic

How long have you been taking it?

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  • Less than a week
  • A couple weeks
  • A month or so
  • A few months
  • A year or so
  • Two years or more

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Uses of Chloroquine

Chloroquine is a prescription medication used to prevent and treat malaria. It is also used to treat amebiasis (an infection caused by the parasite Entamoeba histolytica).

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Chloroquine Brand Names

Chloroquine may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Chloroquine Drug Class

Chloroquine is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Chloroquine

Common side effects include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • stomach cramps
  • headache
  • loss of appetite
  • blurred vision
  • hearing problems
  • rash
  • hair loss

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or does not go away.

These are not all the possible side effects of chloroquine. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Chloroquine FDA Warning

For Malaria and Extraintestinal Amebiasis