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Maculopathy and macular degeneration have been reported and may be irreversible (see WARNINGS); irreversible retinal damage in patients receiving long-term or high-dosage 4-aminoquinoline therapy; visual disturbances (blurring of vision and difficulty of focusing or accommodation); nyctalopia; scotomatous vision with field defects of paracentral, pericentral ring types, and typically temporal scotomas, e.g., difficulty in reading with words tending to disappear, seeing half an object, misty vision, and fog before the eyes. Reversible corneal opacities have also been reported.
Nerve type deafness; tinnitus, reduced hearing in patients with preexisting auditory damage.
Skeletal muscle myopathy or neuromyopathy leading to progressive weakness and atrophy of proximal muscle groups, which may be associated with mild sensory changes, depression of tendon reflexes and abnormal nerve conduction, have been noted.
Skin and appendages
Rare reports of erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, exfoliative dermatitis and similar desquamation-type events. Pleomorphic skin eruptions, skin and mucosal pigmentary changes; lichen planus-like eruptions, pruritus, urticaria, anaphylactic/anaphylactoid reaction including angioedema; drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS syndrome); photosensitivity and hair loss and bleaching of hair pigment.
Convulsive seizures, mild and transient headache, polyneuritis. Acute extrapyramidal disorders (such as dystonia, dyskinesia, tongue protrusion, torticollis) (see WARNINGS and OVERDOSAGE). Neuropsychiatric changes including psychosis, delirium, anxiety, agitation, insomnia, confusion, hallucinations, personality changes, and depression.
Read the Aralen (chloroquine) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects
Antacids and kaolin: Antacids and kaolin can reduce absorption of chloroquine; an interval of at least 4 hours between intake of these agents and chloroquine should be observed.
Cimetidine can inhibit the metabolism of chloroquine, increasing its plasma level. Concomitant use of cimetidine should be avoided.
In a study of healthy volunteers, chloroquine significantly reduced the bioavailability of ampicillin. An interval of at least two hours between intake of this agent and chloroquine should be observed.
After introduction of chloroquine (oral form), a sudden increase in serum cyclosporine level has been reported. Therefore, close monitoring of serum cyclosporine level is recommended and, if necessary, chloroquine should be discontinued.
Co-administration of chloroquine and mefloquine may increase the risk of convulsions.
The blood concentrations of chloroquine and desethylchloroquine (the major metabolite of chloroquine, which also has antimalarial properties) were negatively associated with log antibody titers. Chloroquine taken in the dose recommended for malaria prophylaxis can reduce the antibody response to primary immunization with intradermal human diploid-cell rabies vaccine.This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Last reviewed on RxList: 11/21/2013
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