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Aralen

Last reviewed on RxList: 11/9/2020
Aralen Side Effects Center

What Is Aralen?

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.

What Are Side Effects of Aralen?

Common side effects of Aralen include:

Tell your doctor if you have serious side effects of Aralen including:

  • mental/mood changes (such as confusion, personality changes, unusual thoughts or behavior, depression),
  • hearing changes,
  • darkening of skin or tissue inside the mouth,
  • worsening of skin conditions,
  • sun sensitivity,
  • signs of serious infection (such as high fever, severe chills, persistent sore throat),
  • unusual tiredness,
  • swelling legs or ankles,
  • shortness of breath,
  • pale lips/nails/skin,
  • signs of liver disease (such as severe stomach or abdominal pain, yellowing eyes or skin, dark urine),
  • easy bruising or bleeding,
  • muscle weakness, or
  • unwanted or uncontrolled movements (including tongue and face twitching).

Dosage for Aralen

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.

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Aralen?

Aralen may interact with cimetidine, kaolin, or magnesium trisilicate. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.

Aralen During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

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.

Additional Information

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.

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Aralen Consumer Information

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).

Also seek emergency medical attention if you have symptoms of a serious heart problem: fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, shortness of breath, and sudden dizziness (like you might pass out).

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • a seizure;
  • ringing in your ears, trouble hearing;
  • severe muscle weakness, loss of coordination, underactive reflexes;
  • low blood cell counts--fever, chills, tiredness, mouth sores, skin sores, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, pale skin, cold hands and feet, feeling light-headed or short of breath;
  • low blood sugar--headache, hunger, sweating, irritability, dizziness, fast heart rate, and feeling anxious or shaky; or
  • a serious drug reaction that can affect many parts of your body--skin rash, fever, swollen glands, muscle aches, severe weakness, unusual bruising, or yellowing of your skin or eyes.

Taking chloroquine long-term or at high doses may cause irreversible damage to the retina of your eye. Stop taking chloroquine and tell your doctor if you have:

  • blurred vision, trouble focusing, trouble reading;
  • distorted vision, poor night vision;
  • changes in your color vision;
  • hazy or cloudy vision;
  • seeing light flashes or streaks, seeing halos around lights; or
  • increased sensitivity to light.

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps;
  • headache;
  • unusual changes in mood or behavior;
  • hair loss; or
  • changes in hair or skin color.

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.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Aralen (Chloroquine)

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Aralen Professional Information

SIDE EFFECTS

Special Senses

Ocular

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.

Auditory

Nerve type deafness; tinnitus, reduced hearing in patients with preexisting auditory damage.

Musculoskeletal system

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.

Gastrointestinal system

Hepatitis, increased liver enzymes, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps.

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.

Hematologic system

Rarely, pancytopenia, aplastic anemia, reversible agranulocytosis, thrombocytopenia and neutropenia.

Nervous system

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.

Cardiac system

Rarely, hypotension, electrocardiographic change (particularly, inversion or depression of the T-wave with widening of the QRS complex), and cardiomyopathy.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Aralen (Chloroquine)

Related Resources for Aralen

Read the Aralen User Reviews »

© Aralen Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Aralen Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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