Malaria Home > Chloroquine

When and How to Take It

Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with chloroquine include the following:
  • Chloroquine comes in tablet form. It is usually taken once a week to prevent malaria, starting two weeks before the anticipated exposure, and continuing for eight weeks after leaving the malaria area. To treat malaria, the drug is taken twice a day for one day and then once a day for two more days. When used for amebiasis, it is taken once a day.
  • This medication should be taken with food to prevent stomach upset.
  • Although this medication can be crushed, it is extremely bitter tasting. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about possible solutions to this problem if someone with difficulty swallowing the tablets, such as a child, needs to take chloroquine.
  • Be sure to take chloroquine on the same day of the week (if you are taking it weekly) or at the same time each day (if you are taking it daily) to keep an even level in your bloodstream.
  • It is important to use protective clothing, bed nets, and insect repellents to protect you from being bitten by mosquitoes in a malaria area. Chloroquine alone may not prevent infection.
  • Make sure you continue to take this medication for the full treatment course, even if you start to feel better. Not finishing your prescription may cause the prevention or treatment to fail.
  • No medication is completely effective at treating or preventing malaria. Contact your healthcare provider if you get flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, and muscle aches and pains while in a malaria area, after returning from the area, or after finishing chloroquine treatment.
  • For chloroquine to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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