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Brand & Generic Names


Basic Information

  • Habit forming? No
  • Prescription needed? Yes
  • Available as generic? Yes
  • Drug class: Antiprotozoal, antirheumatic


  • Treatment for protozoal infections, such as malaria and amebiasis.
  • Treatment for some forms of arthritis and lupus.

Dosage & Usage Information

How to take:
Tablet--Swallow with food or milk to lessen stomach irritation.

When to take:
Depends on condition. Is adjusted during treatment.
Malaria prevention--Begin taking medicine 2 weeks before entering areas with malaria.

If you forget a dose:
1 or more doses a day--Take as soon as you remember up to 2 hours late. If more than 2 hours, wait for next scheduled dose (don't double this dose).
1 dose weekly--Take as soon as possible, then return to regular dosing schedule.

What drug does:
Inhibits parasite multiplication.
Decreases inflammatory response in diseased joint.

Time lapse before drug works:
1 to 2 hours.

Don't take with:
Any other medicine without consulting your doctor or pharmacist.


Severe breathing difficulty, drowsiness, faintness, headache, seizures.


  • Dial 911 (emergency) or O (operator) for an ambulance or medical help. Then give first aid immediately.
  • See EMERGENCY Information.

Possible Adverse Reactions or Side Effects


    In case of overdose, see Overdose section.


    Headache, appetite loss, abdominal pain.


  • Blurred or changed vision.
  • Rash or itch, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, decreased blood pressure, hair loss, blue-black skin or mouth, dizziness, nervousness.


  • Mood or mental changes, seizures, sore throat, fever, unusual bleeding or bruising, muscle weakness, convulsions.
  • Ringing or buzzing in ears, hearing loss.

Warnings & Precautions

Don't take if:
You are allergic to chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine.

Before you start, consult your doctor:

  • If you plan to become pregnant within the medication period.
  • If you have blood disease.
  • If you have eye or vision problems.
  • If you have a G6PD* deficiency.
  • If you have liver disease.
  • If you have nerve or brain disease (including seizure disorders).
  • If you have porphyria.
  • If you have psoriasis.
  • If you have stomach or intestinal disease.
  • If you drink more than 3 oz. of alcohol daily.

Over age 60:
Adverse reactions and side effects may be more frequent and severe than in younger persons.

Risk to unborn child outweighs drug benefits. Don't use.

Drug passes into milk. Avoid drug or discontinue nursing.

Infants & children:
Not recommended. Dangerous.

Prolonged use:

  • Permanent damage to the retina (back part of the eye) or nerve deafness.
  • Talk to your doctor about the need for follow-up medical examinations or laboratory studies to check complete blood counts (white blood cell count, platelet count, red blood cell count, hemoglobin, hematocrit), eyes.

Skin & sunlight:
May cause rash or intensify sunburn in areas exposed to sun or sunlamp.

Driving, piloting or hazardous work:
Don't drive or pilot aircraft until you learn how medicine affects you. Don't work around dangerous machinery. Don't climb ladders or work in high places. Danger increases if you drink alcohol or take medicine affecting alertness and reflexes.

Don't discontinue without doctor's advice until you complete prescribed dose, even though symptoms diminish or disappear.


  • Periodic physical and blood examinations recommended.
  • If you are in a malaria area for a long time, you may need to change to another preventive drug every 2 years.

Possible Interaction with Other Drugs

------------------------ -----------------------
Penicillamine Possible blood or kidney toxicity.

Possible Interaction with Other Substances

--------------- ---------------
Alcohol: Possible liver toxicity. Avoid.
Beverages: None expected.
Cocaine: None expected.
Foods: None expected.
Marijuana: None expected.
Tobacco: None expected.

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