• Type: Antimalarial
  • Dosage Forms:
  • Routes of Administration: Oral
  • Common Trade Names: (Aralen)

Adult Dosing

Most malaria-endemic areas have high rates of chloroquine resistance. Per the CDC, chloroquine-sensitive areas include: Central America west of the Panama Canal, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and most of the Middle East. See [CDC malaria information by country] for details

  • Uncomplicated malaria treatment: 1000 mg PO, followed by 500mg PO at 6, 24, and 48 hours after first dose
  • Malaria prophylaxis: 500 mg PO weekly beginning 1 to 2 weeks prior to travel to malarious area through 4 weeks after departure

Pediatric Dosing

  • Uncomplicated malaria treatment: 16.6 mg/kg PO (max 1 g), followed by 8.3 mg/kg PO at 6, 24, and 48 hours after first dose
  • Malaria prophylaxis: 8.3 mg/kg PO weekly beginning 1 to 2 weeks prior to travel to malarious area through 4 weeks after departure

Experimental Usage

Special Populations

  • Pregnancy Rating: C
  • Lactation risk: Infant risk minimal
  • Renal dosing: reduce dose by 50% if CrCl < 10
  • Hepatic dosing: may need serum drug level monitoring as 30-50% of dose modified by liver


  • Allergy to class/drug
  • Retinal or visual field changes

Adverse Reactions


  • Prolonged QT, AV block
  • Heart failure
  • SJS
  • Neutropenia
  • Extrapyramidal disease
  • Seizure
  • Retinopathy



  • Half-life: 1-2 months
  • Metabolism: Hepatic
  • Excretion: Renal, fecal

Mechanism of Action

  • Precise mechanism unknown, action thought to be due to interaction with DNA


See Also


  • Lexicomp
  • Akintonwa A, Gbajumo SA, and Mabadeje AF, "Placental and Milk Transfer of Chloroquine in Humans," Ther Drug Monit, 1988, 10(2):147-9. [PubMed 3381230]
  • Anderson PO, Sauberan JB. Modeling drug passage into human milk. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2016;100(1):42-52. doi: 10.1002/cpt.377. [PubMed 27060684]
  • Aralen (chloroquine phosphate) [prescribing information]. Bridgewater, NJ: Sanofi-Aventis US LLC: October 2018.
  • Aronoff GR, Bennett WM, Berns JS, et al, Drug Prescribing in Renal Failure: Dosing Guidelines for Adults and Children, 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: American College of Physicians; 2007, p 73.
  • ASHP. Standardize 4 Safety Initiative Compounded Oral Liquid Version 1.01. July 2017.
  • Avina-Zubieta JA, Johnson ES, Suarez-Almazor ME, et al, “Incidence of Myopathy in Patients Treated With Antimalarials. A Report of Three Cases and a Review of the Literature,” Br J Rheumatol, 1995, 34(2):166-70. [PubMed 7704464]
  • Bezerra EL, Vilar MJ, da Trindade Neto PB, et al. “Double-blind, randomized, controlled clinical trial of clofazimine compared with chloroquine in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus”. Arthritis Rheum, 2005;52(10):3073-8. [PubMed 16200586]
  • Boelaert JR, Yaro S, Augustijns P, Meda N, Schneider YJ, Schols D, Mols R, De Laere EA, Van de Perre P. Chloroquine accumulates in breast-milk cells: potential impact in the prophylaxis of postnatal mother-to-child transmission of HIV-1. AIDS. 2001;15(16):2205-2207. [PubMed 11684948]
  • Cappellini MD, Fiorelli G. Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency. Lancet. 2008;371(9606):64-74. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(08)60073-2. Review. [PubMed 18177777]
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "CDC Health Information for International Travel 2018," New York: Oxford University Press, 2018.