Aralen (Chloroquine Phosphate) is an anti-malaria medication. It is used both to prevent and to treat malaria living in the red blood cells, as well as to treat amebiasis (infection caused by amoebae) found in red blood cells. You may need to take a different medication to kill malaria parasites living in other body tissues. Parasites that cause malaria typically enter the body through the bite of a mosquito. Malaria is common in areas such as Africa, South America, and Southern Asia. Aralen works by entering the red blood cells and targeting the parasite cells. Aralen then interferes with the DNA and RNA synthesis of the parasite, and raises internal pH levels, which is toxic to the parasitic cells. This leads to the inhibition of growth and reproduction of the parasites, and ultimately the death.
The brand Aralen is currently unavailable. The generic alternative, Chloroquine Phosphate, is available in the dosage of 250 mg tablets from Canada. We may sometimes carry the generic Aralen also called Lariago from India manufactured by Ipca.
Common side effects of Aralen include diarrhea, vomiting, or stomach cramps, headaches, changes in hair or skin colour, temporary hair loss, or mild muscle weakness. Contact your doctor if you experience more serious side effects such as vision problems or changes in vision, fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, shortness of breath, or sudden dizziness, severe muscle weakness, loss of coordination, underactive reflexes, changes in hearing, seizures, or signs of liver problems (upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, jaundice).
You should not use Aralen if you are allergic to chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine, or if you have a history of vision changes or damage to your retina caused by an anti-malaria medication. TO make sure Aralen is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had heart disease or heart rhythm disorder, an electrolyte imbalance, psoriasis, porphyria, liver or kidney disease, alcoholism, epilepsy, or problems with your vision or hearing. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant to discuss any possible risks. You should not breastfeed while taking this medication. Avoid taking an antacid within 4 hours of taking Aralen, as it can make it harder for your body to absorb Aralen. This medication may cause blurred vision, and may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert and to see clearly.
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