What is Avloclor (Chloroquine Phosphate) ?
Chloroquine belongs to a class of medicines called ‘antimalarials’. Malaria disease spread by Anopheles mosquitoes and the parasite of malaria affects red blood cells. Chloroquine phosphate is available in the US and UK as over the counter (OTC) drugs with brand names Aralen (US) and Avloclor (UK). Some countries may require you to have a prescription to buy Chloroquine. You can buy chloroquine phosphate in the US, UK, Canada, and India without an online prescription.
Chloroquine is available as a tablet, oral suspension, and injections. Chloroquine tablets are available in several strengths and are calculated with its base form. Each 250 mg tablet of chloroquine phosphate is equal to 150 mg base and each 500 mg tablet of chloroquine phosphate is equal to 300 mg base. One tablet of 200 mg of hydroxychloroquine is equal to 155 mg base. The most commonly reported side effects are headache, nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhea, stomach pain, rash, and itching. If you experience any of these problems, you will have to visit your physician at the earliest. Chloroquine may interact with Cimetidine, Ampicillin, Cyclosporine, Mefloquine and it is necessary to discuss the medications you are taking with your physician.
Benefits of taking Chloroquine
Chloroquine will give protection (prophylaxis) against malaria in certain countries. Chloroquine is recommended for those people who travel across countries where a malarial outbreak occurs. People living in malaria areas who are not immune to malaria may be advised Chloroquine. Chloroquine is also used to treat amebiasis, rheumatoid arthritis, or lupus erythematosus.
Chloroquine is rapidly and absorbed completely from the intestine and gets metabolized in the liver. Chloroquine has high tissue distribution, especially in the liver, spleen, lungs, kidney.
How does it work?
Once the malarial parasite enters the body it gains access to the liver through the bloodstream. The parasites mature in the liver and infect the red blood cells. Chloroquine inhibits the formation of hemozoin (Hz) products released by the digestion of hemoglobin which gives the parasite its nutrient supply. The free heme then breaks the parasitic membranes and leads to parasite death. The parasite gets killed due to the accumulation of metabolic wastes (i.e. heme) associated with the digestion of hemoglobin.
How to take chloroquine?
Chloroquine should be taken with food. Swallow the tablets with a glass of water. If you are taking medicines for gastrointestinal problems (such as an antacid), do not take it within two hours, either before or after, taking chloroquine.
Take the tablets as per the instructions of a doctor or pharmacist. To prevent yourself from getting malaria, an adult should take two tablets once a week, on the same day of the week. If Chloroquine is for a child, the dose will depend upon the child’s age and weight.
If you are taking chloroquine for rheumatoid arthritis or lupus erythematosus it is advised to take once daily, although some people could be advised to take it twice daily for a short period of time.
Chloroquine should not be taken in excess doses as it may cause certain adverse effects. Chloroquine may not be easily available in some countries where the disease is eradicated.