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Chloroquine (Aralen) vs. Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)

Are Chloroquine (Aralen) vs. Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) the Same Thing?

Aralen (chloroquine phosphate) and Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) are antimalarial drugs used to treat and to prevent malaria, a disease caused by parasites, which enter the body through the bite of a mosquito.

Both chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are under investigation for treatment of the COVID-19 coronavirus disease. Study results on their effectiveness have been mixed.

Aralen is also used to treat infections caused by amoebae.

Plaquenil is also used to treat symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and discoid or systemic lupus erythematosus.

Aralen and Plaquenil are available as generics.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Chloroquine (Aralen)?

Side effects of Aralen include:

What Are Possible Side Effects of Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)?

Side effects of Plaquenil include:

  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • abdominal or stomach pain/cramps,
  • headache,
  • diarrhea,
  • temporary hair loss
  • loss of appetite,
  • weight loss,
  • dizziness,
  • spinning sensation,
  • ringing in your ears,
  • mood changes,
  • nervousness,
  • irritability,
  • skin rash, and
  • itching

What Is Chloroquine (Aralen)?

Aralen (chloroquine phosphate) is an antimalarial drugs used to treat and to prevent malaria, a disease caused by parasites, which enter the body through the bite of a mosquito.

Aralen is also used to treat infections caused by amoebae.

Aralen is available as a generic drug.

What Is Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)?

Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) is also an antimalarial drug used to treat and to prevent malaria, a disease caused by parasites, which enter the body through the bite of a mosquito.

Both chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are under investigation for treatment of the COVID-19 coronavirus disease. Study results on their effectiveness have been mixed.

Plaquenil is also used to treat symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and discoid or systemic lupus erythematosus.

Plaquenil is available a generic drug.

What Drugs Interact With Chloroquine (Aralen)?

Aralen may interact with:

What Drugs Interact With Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)?

Plaquenil may interact with:

How Should Chloroquine (Aralen) Be Taken?

  • For acute malaria attacks in adults the initial dose is 1 g followed by an additional 500 mg after 6 to 8 hours, then 500 mg 24 and 48 hours after the first dose.
  • The dose for treating children is 10 mg/kg for the first dose then 5 mg/kg daily for 2 days, starting 6 hours after the first dose.
  • The dose for treating intestinal amebiasis is 1 g daily for two days, followed by 500 mg daily for at least two to three weeks.
  • Chloroquine usually is combined with an effective intestinal amebicide.

How Should Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) Be Taken?    

The adult dose of Plaquenil to suppress malaria is 400 mg on the same day each week. The pediatric weekly suppressive dosage is 5 mg/kg of body weight. The adult dose of Plaquenil to treat an acute attack of malaria is an initial dose of 800 mg followed by 400 mg in six to eight hours and 400 mg for two more days. To treat lupus erythematosus, the average adult dose is 400 mg once or twice daily.

Reviewed on 5/21/2020
References
https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2017/006002s044lbl.pdf

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2007/009768s041lbl.pdf
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