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Aralen (Chloroquine)


Aralen (chloroquine) is a medication used to treat and to prevent malaria. It is also used to treat amebiasis (infection caused by amoebae).

Pharmacology

The drug has antiprotozoal (anti-malarial), immunosuppressive, anti-inflammatory, antiarrhythmic properties. It inhibits DNA synthesis and causes the death of asexual erythrocyte forms of all types of plasmodium, dysenteric amoeba. It binds free radicals, stabilizes cell and subcellular membranes, reduces the release of lysosomal enzymes, suppresses the reactivity of lymphocytes, inhibits leukocyte chemotaxis, the formation of disulfide bonds, inhibits the activity of neutral protease and collagenase, and reduces intracapillary red blood cell aggregation. Due to the active binding to nucleic acids, it exerts a cytotoxic effect, which underlies the immunosuppressive and non-specific anti-inflammatory effects. Reducing the release of certain lymphokines, chloroquine prevents the emergence of a clone of sensitized cells, the activation of the complement system and T-killers, inhibits the autoallergic process and the accompanying inflammation (mainly the alteration phase). The antiarrhythmic effect is due to a decrease in the excitability of the heart muscle. Chloroquine is quickly and almost completely absorbed from the digestive tract, creating a maximum concentration in the blood after 2-6 hours. A constant blood plasma level is created 7 days after the start of administration. It easily penetrates the BBB and the placenta. It is metabolized to a small extent in the body, 70% is excreted unchanged. It is allocated from an organism slowly: concentration in a blood plasma decreases by 50% within 3 days. Elimination is carried out mainly by excretion in an unchanged form by the kidneys, therefore, with a decrease in their function, it can accumulate in the body. The elimination half-life is 30-60 days. Chloroquine is effective against all forms of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium malariae, erythrocyte forms of most strains of Plasmodium falciparum, tissue forms of dysenteric amoeba.

Indications

  • Individual prophylaxis and treatment of all types of malaria, extraintestinal amoebiasis;
  • Chronic and subacute forms of systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, photodermatosis.

Dosage

The dose is determined individually, depending on the indications and age of the patient. It is applied according to special schemes. Consult a doctor before use.

Contraindications

Do not take Aralen if you have retinopathy, keratopathy, visual impairment, hypersensitivity to chloroquine.

Side effects

In some cases, patients experience dizziness, neuropathies, convulsive seizures, psychoses, headaches, motor agitation, myopathy, hearing impairment, corneal opacity, visual impairment, retinopathy, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss, arterial hypotension, dermatitis, skin itching, rash, hair loss, photosensitivity and pigmentation disorders of the skin.

Drug interaction

Avoid taking Aralen with any of the following drugs:

  • digoxin;
  • cimetidine;
  • ampicillin;
  • phenylbutazone;
  • gold preparations;
  • penicillamine;
  • cytostatics;
  • levamisole.

Overdose

  • Symptoms: vomiting, impaired consciousness, visual disturbances, convulsions, collapse, respiratory depression (even fatal);
  • Treatment: induced vomiting, gastric lavage, use of activated charcoal, peritoneal dialysis, plasmapheresis.

Special instructions

During the treatment period, you need to undergo systematic eye examinations and take general blood tests.