Generic Aralen (Chloroquine 250 mg) guide:
What is the medication known as Chloroquine?
The medicinal substance Chloroquine is from the group of 4-aminoquinoline derivatives. It inhibits the synthesis of nucleic acids in cells and has a moderate immunosuppressive, specific and non-specific anti-inflammatory effect. The brand name of the medication is Aralen but multiple generic versions are available at lower prices.
The substance was discovered back in 1934 and had since been used primarily for the treatment and prophylaxis of malaria. Later, it had been discovered that the medication is effective against amebiasis (i.e. infections caused by the parasites), and certain autoimmune conditions (i.e. the conditions in which the immune system of an organisms kills its own cells).
In 2020, with the growing number of COVID-19 cases all over the world, scientists have started to test various medications against the novel coronavirus. Chloroquine is one of the few medicines that show promising results in the viral infection treatment. The process of testing medicines initially designed and used for other conditions for the new threats is called drug repurposing. By the mid-March 2020, the American FDA has approved the medication for COVID-19 treatment.
Indications for Chloroquine use
– All forms of malaria (including prophylaxis in individuals who have been in contact with the ill),
– Amebiasis of non-intestinal localization,
– Rheumatoid arthritis,
– Late cutaneous porphyria,
Is Chloroquine effective for COVID-19?
The studies of the medication use in patients with confirmed COVID-19 and severe symptoms such as bilateral pneumonia show that it helps to cure the condition and save lives. It is believed that the drug reduces the viral load, i.e. the severity of a viral infection calculated by estimating the number of viral particles in a given volume of biological fluid from an infected body. It greatly helps already depleted organism to fight the infection and restore its normal functioning. The studies confirm that viral positivity in respiratory secretions (measured by PCR) is significantly decreased at day 6 in Chloroquine-treated COVID-19 patients compared to those with supportive care.
You can buy Chloroquine and have it at hand if you are in a risk group for COVID-19, i.e. are older than 65 or have any chronic diseases, for instance, asthma, COPD, diabetes, or others. You can also get it if you have already started developing the symptoms of the disease. But please remember that the medication is very toxic to the liver so you must not use it as a prophylaxis or if you have minor symptoms. For first days of the disease contraction, the optimal medication according to the tests is Lopinavir/Ritonavir.
It is considered that Chloroquine use for COVID-19 is reasonable only when the negative symptoms indicating that the lungs are affecting start to manifest.
When the use of Chloroquine is prohibited?
Although the medication is a very important substance for the modern healthcare system, it still cannot be used for everyone as it can cause severe adverse effects and even death.
You should not buy generic Chloroquine and use it if you have:
– Intolerance of the main or supplementary substances used in the pills;
– Failure of the kidney and liver function;
– Inhibited blood formation;
– Severe cardiovascular disease;
– Psoriatic arthritis;
– Pregnancy and lactation.
There are also other health conditions in which Chloroquine should not be used unless the risks assessed by your doctor are lower than the benefits:
– Deficiency of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase;
– Vision pathologies;
– Conditions with proneness to seizures;
– Myasthenia gravis;
– Severe digestive tract diseases;
– Use of the medicines with a known negative effect on the liver.
How is Chloroquine used for COVID-19?
For COVID-19 treatment, the tested dosages resulting in the condition improvement in patients with already developed lung complications is 600 mg a day for several days up to ten days (under a doctor’s supervision).
Chloroquine dosages for other conditions are:
Malaria in adults
– Prophylaxis: 500 mg 2 times a week, then 500 mg once a week on the same day.
– Treatment: the first dosage is 1000 mg. In six to eight hours, 500 mg are taken. On the following two days the dosage is 750 mg once a day.
– Amebiasis is treated with 1500 mg split into three intakes for one week. After a week, the dosage of 750 mg split into three intakes a day is used on the second week. From the third week to up to six months, 750 mg are taken twice a week.
– Rheumatoid arthritis treatment is made with 500 mg split into two intakes for a week, and then 250 mg are used every day for a year.
– Lupus is treated with the dosages ranging 250 to 500 mg taken once a day.
– Photodermatosis (allergic skin reaction to the sun) is treated with the dosage of 250 mg taken once or twice a day for a week. Starting from the second week, the total weekly dosage is 500-750 mg.
WARNING: The highest single dosage of Chloroquine is 1000 mg. The highest dosage per day is 1500 mg.
What adverse effects can Chloroquine cause?
When the medication is used under a doctor’s supervision and in appointed dosages, the adverse effects that require the discontinuation of the medication use are rare. However, the use of Chloroquine for an extended time and in high dosages can cause the development of:
– Vision impairment including blurred vision, impaired accommodation, and others.
– Headache, muscle weakness, muscle pains, cramps, and other neurological symptoms.
– Dizziness, ringing in the ears.
– Loss of appetite, indigestion, nausea, diarrhea, and other dysfunctions of the digestive tract.
– Itching, rash, skin pigmentation, hair loss, exacerbation of pre-existing porphyria and psoriasis.
– Lowering of the average blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and other cardiovascular symptoms.
– Impaired liver function.
– Thrombocytopenia, agranulocytosis, aplastic anemia, and pancytopenia.
Chloroquine-related side effects occurrence rate according to the tests of the medication for malaria
Overdose of Chloroquine
An overdose of Chloroquine can be fatal especially for young children. The medication is quickly and nearly fully absorbed so the symptoms develop instantly. They include headache, nausea, drowsiness, lightheadedness, blurred vision or even vision loss, sharp drop in blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, heart attack, coma, and even death. Thus, it is crucial to seek emergency care immediately after an overdose. While you wait for the help, take activated carbon in the dosage 5 times exceeding the taken dosage of Chloroquine.
When you order Chloroquine, you should know that it interacts with many medicines. Thus, you have to be careful using it if you already take any drugs. See the list of interactions below.
– There is a risk of cardiac arrhythmia when the medication is combined with antiarrhythmic drugs.
– The medication lowers the antiepileptic effect of Carbamazepine and Valproate.
– There is a risk of seizures occurrence in the use with Mefloquine.
– Chloroquine must not be used with other antimalarial medicines as they mutually lower each other’s effects.
– There is a risk of dystonia (neurological movement disorder) when the medication is combined with Metronidazole.
– There is a risk of myopathy and cardiomyopathy in the use of the drug with corticosteroids.
– When the medication is combined with digitalis-based drugs, intoxication with digitalis can develop.
– The toxicity of the medication is elevated in the combined use with MAO inhibitors.
The absorption and the effect of the medication can be lowered if it is used with Kaolin or antacids.
– The level of the medication in the blood plasma increases if it is combined with Cimetidine.
– The medication lowers the effect of Ampicillin-based antibiotics. – When the medication is use with cyclosporine, it increases the level of the later in the blood.
– Chloroquine lowers the level of synthetic thyroid hormones.
– The negative effect of the medication on the liver is enhanced by alcohol.
– The medication can started to be used 3 days after vaccination.
– Intake of the pills with food betters their absorption.
Special recommendations for Chloroquine use
– Sometimes even if a patient has certain contraindications for Chloroquine use, it is reasonable to buy Aralen if a doctor believes that the potential benefit is greater than the risk. It can be considered in severe disease requiring Chloroquine and minor digestive, kidney or liver, and other diseases.
– Chloroquine for COVID-19 is recommended to be used only in the occurrence of shortness of breath although some research says it can be also effective even in mild symptoms such as fever and mild flu-like symptoms.
– People with severe skin diseases should know that the medication can cause exacerbations of psoriasis and porphyria.
– Before you buy generic Aralen and start using it, make sure to check your vision at an ophthalmologist to be sure that you have no risk of vision impairment using the medication.
– The use of Chloroquine should be discontinued immediately if vision impairment occurs. If the drug is appointed to be taken for an extended time and in high dosages, a patient should regularly go to an ophthalmologist for vision changes assessment.
– The medication must be stored out of reach of children as it can be fatal for them even in such low doses as 750 mg or 1000 mg. If a child swallows Chloroquine pills, vomiting and gastric lavage must be done immediately to eliminate the drug from the body.
– Chloroquine accumulates in the liver. Thus, it should be cautiously used in liver diseases and in people with alcohol abuse history.
– Extended use of the medication requires regular and frequent medical checkups at cardiologist and neurologist (to check tendon reflexes), as well as general health checkup including blood and urine tests.
– During the first days of Chloroquine use it is not advised to drive or operate machinery because the drug can cause drowsiness, slowed down reaction, inability to focus, and endanger patient’s and other peoples’ lives. If the drug is tolerated well without these effects, these activities can be performed since the third or fourth day of the therapy.