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What is Chloroquine?
The World Health Organisation listed Chloroquine as the essential medicine required by the health sector. It is a generic medicine of antimalaria class and is available only with a doctor’s proper prescription. You can take Chloroquine orally.
What is the use of Chloroquine?
Your doctor will choose to treat you with Chloroquine if you have the following medical condition:
- Malaria (both treatment and prevention)
- Lupus erythematosus
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Any other medical conditions as they determine
In some clinical trials, doctors found that Chloroquine is an effective treatment for COVID-19 caused due to SARS-CoV-2.
Take Chloroquine dosage as exactly prescribed by your doctor, and please don’t take it more often than prescribed. Your doctor should prescribe you the lowest possible dose in starting and then gradually increase your medicine dose according to your health condition. To determine a suitable dosage, they should make a full and proper medical checkup of the patient.
Your doctor will recommend Chloroquine depending on several factors such as:
- Your age
- Your weight
- Your medical condition
- Other health disorder you already have
- How you responded to the first dose of the medicine
The following is the Chloroquine usual dose that a doctor can prescribe according to different medical conditions:
In the form of oral tablets
Dosage for treating malaria
- For adults
500 mg of medicine once a week repeated on the same day.
- For children
Doctors should prescribe Chloroquine to children only after a full and proper medical checkup.
How do Chloroquine works?
Being a medicine of antimalarials group, it works similar to the other drugs of this group work. It destroys malaria-causing parasites in the body. However, it’s working to treat rheumatoid arthritis and lupus erythematosus is still unclear.
What to know before using Chloroquine?
It is best to keep the following points in mind before using Chloroquine:
- Please don’t take Chloroquine without your doctor’s prescription.
- You may need some medical checkup to determine whether medicine is working well enough for you.
- If you are allergic to Chloroquine or its components or similar medicines, please avoid taking Chloroquine.
- To ensure that taking Chloroquine is safe for you, you should tell your if you have or ever had any health disorder as mentioned below:
- Change in the vision
- Damaged retina
- Heart rhythm disorder (long QT syndrome)
- Heart disease
- The imbalanced electrolyte in the body
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Addiction to alcohol or history thereof
- Genetic enzyme deficiency (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency)
- genetic enzyme disorder affecting your skin or nervous system (porphyria)
- Taking Chloroquine during Pregnancy may cause congenital disabilities to the newly born.
- Lactating mothers should not take Chloroquine without consulting their doctor.
- It is the patients’ responsibility to say to the doctor about all their current medicines. Their medical professional will prescribe them Chloroquine accordingly to avoid interaction between medications. The following medicines may interact with Chloroquine or may increase the risk of certain side effects or can make other treatments less effective:
- Heart medications
- Oral diabetes medicines
- Heart rhythm medications
- Medicines to treat seizures
- Immunosuppressant drugs
- Medicines similar to Chloroquine
- Taking Chloroquine may impair your thinking and reactions, which increases the risks of severe injuries and accidents. Therefore, you should avoid getting involved in activities that require attention and alertness.
- If you ever feel uneasy after taking the said medication or experience its overdose symptoms, you should consult your doctor ASAP and ask for medical help.
- You can also get emergency medical assistance by calling the poison helpline at 1-800-222-1222.
- The following are some Chloroquine overdose symptoms that one may experience:
- vision changes
- Slow heart rate
- Weak pulse rate
- Pounding heartbeats
- Fainting or unconsciousness
- Shortness of breath or breathlessness
- Slow breathing
- Keep your medication out of reach of the children.
- Store it at room temperature, away from heat and moisture.
- After completion of treatment, dispose of all the leftover medicine with your pharmacist’s advice.
- You should also ask your doctor about all the necessary precautions that you should take while using Chloroquine.
- You can consult your doctor to learn more about the risks and benefits associated with Chloroquine.
Chloroquine side effects
The common side effects of using Chloroquine includes the following:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Pain or cramps in the stomach
- Mood swings
- Hair loss
- Change in color and texture of skin or hair
It is evident to experience mild side effects symptoms after using this medication. You must tell your doctor and ask for medical help if these symptoms bother you so much or are unbearable. You should not take medicine anymore and tell your doctor if you experience any of the following health issues:
- Ringing in your ears
- Weakness in muscles
- Loss of coordination
- Underactive reflexes
- An abnormal result of complete blood count (CBC) resulting in fever, chills, tiredness, mouth sores, skin sores, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, pale skin, cold hands or feet, lightheadedness, or shortness of breath
- Low blood sugar level causing sweating, irritability, dizziness, rapid heart rate, headache, changes in appetite
- Severe drug reaction affecting your body- skin rashes, fever, swollen glands, muscle aches, severe weakness, unusual bruising, yellowness in the skin or eyes
- Blurred vision
- Concentration problems
- Distorted vision
- A problem in sight during the night
- Hazy or cloudy vision
- Seeing light flashes or halos around the light
- Sensitiveness to light.
You should also report to your doctor if you ever experience any other side effects or symptoms that are getting even worse.