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Aralen Side Effects Center
Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Aralen (chloroquine phosphate) is an antimalarial drug used to treat and to prevent malaria. It is also used to treat infections caused by amoebae. Aralen is available in generic form. Common side effects of Aralen include blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, abdominal or stomach cramps, headache, diarrhea, temporary hair loss, changes in hair color, or muscle weakness.
To suppress malaria the adult dose of Aralen is 500 mg (= 300 mg base) taken on exactly the same day of each week. Pediatric dose is based on the child's weight. Aralen may interact with cimetidine, kaolin, or magnesium trisilicate. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. During pregnancy, Aralen should be used only when prescribed. It may harm a fetus. Traveling to an area with malaria while pregnant places a woman and her infant at much higher risk of death and other problems. Discuss the risks and benefits of malaria prevention with your doctor. This drug passes into breast milk and the effect on a nursing infant is unknown. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
Our Aralen (chloroquine phosphate) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What is Patient Information in Detail?
Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.
Aralen in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects
Some people taking this medication over long periods of time or at high doses have developed irreversible damage to the retina of the eye. Stop taking chloroquine and call your doctor at once if you have trouble focusing, if you see light streaks or flashes in your vision, or if you notice any swelling or color changes in your eyes.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using chloroquine and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- vision problems, trouble reading or seeing objects, hazy vision;
- hearing loss or ringing in the ears;
- seizure (convulsions);
- severe muscle weakness, loss of coordination, underactive reflexes;
- nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
- severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take chloroquine and talk to your doctor if you experience
- diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps;
- temporary hair loss, changes in hair color; or
- mild muscle weakness.
Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Aralen (Chloroquine)
What is Patient Information Overview?
A concise overview of the drug for the patient or caregiver from First DataBank.
Aralen Overview - Patient Information: Side Effects
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: bleaching of hair color, hair loss, mental/mood changes (such as confusion, personality changes, unusual thoughts/behavior, depression), hearing changes (such as ringing in the ears, hearing loss), darkening of skin/tissue inside the mouth, worsening of skin conditions (such as dermatitis, psoriasis), sun sensitivity, signs of serious infection (such as high fever, severe chills, persistent sore throat), unusual tiredness, swelling legs/ankles, shortness of breath, pale lips/nails/skin, signs of liver disease (such as severe stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine), easy bruising/bleeding, muscle weakness, unwanted/uncontrolled movements (including tongue and face twitching).
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: severe dizziness, fainting, fast/slow/irregular heartbeat, seizures.
This medication may cause serious eye/vision problems. The risk for these side effects is increased with long-term use of this medication (over weeks to years) and with taking this medication in high doses. Get medical help right away if you have any symptoms of serious eye problems, including: severe vision changes (such as light flashes/streaks, difficulty reading, complete blindness).
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the entire patient information overview for Aralen (Chloroquine)
What is Prescribing information?
The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.
Aralen FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
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 entire FDA prescribing information for Aralen (Chloroquine)
Additional Aralen Information
Aralen - User Reviews
Aralen User Reviews
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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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