What is Aralen (chloroquine), and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Chloroquine, brand name Aralen, is an anti-malarial drug. It is similar
to hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), and is useful in treating several forms of
malaria as well as amebiasis that has spread outside of the
intestines. Its mechanism of action is unknown; however, malarial parasites invade human red
blood cells, and chloroquine may prevent malarial parasites from breaking down
hemoglobin in human
red blood cells.  Chloroquine is effective
against the malarial parasites Plasmodium vivax, P. malariae, P. ovale, and
susceptible strains of P. falciparum.

Is it available as a generic drug?

Yes, chloroquine is available in generic form.

Do I need a prescription for this drug?

Yes, you need a prescription for Aralen from your doctor or other health care professional.

What are the uses for Aralen?

Aralen is used for treating:

  • Acute attacks of
    malaria due
    to P. vivax, P. malariae, P. ovale, and susceptible
    strains of
    P. falciparum
  • Extraintestinal amebiasis

Aralen is not effective for malaria prevention.
It suppresses malaria infection, stops acute attacks, and lengthens the time between treatment and relapse.

It’s off-label use (non-FDA approved use) is for the treatment of
porphyria cutanea tarda.

What are the side effects of Aralen?

Common side effects include

Other, rare side effects

Possible serious effects

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/4/2017

FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.