CHLOROQUINE sulfate or phosphate oral

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    Last updated: December 2023


    Given that resistance of P. falciparum to chloroquine is widespread, this drug must not be used for the treatment of falciparum malaria.


    Therapeutic action

    • Antimalarial


    • Treatment of malaria due to:
      • chloroquine-sensitive P. vivax
      • P. ovale, P. malariae and P. knowlesi

    Forms and strengths

    • 155 mg chloroquine base tablet

    The dose written on the labels is sometimes in chloroquine salt and sometimes in chloroquine base which leads to frequent confusion. WHO recommends prescriptions and labels in chloroquine base. 155 mg base = approx. 200 mg sulfate = approx. 250 mg phosphate or diphosphate.

    Dosage and duration

    • Child and adult:
      • Day 1: 10 mg base/kg
      • Day 2: 10 mg base/kg 
      • Day 3: 5 mg base/kg

    Contra-indications, adverse effects, precautions

    • Do not administer to patients with retinopathy.
    • May cause: gastrointestinal disturbances, headache, transitory pruritus (lasting 72 hours), allergic reactions (urticaria, angioedema), visual disturbances.
    • If the patient vomits within 30 minutes after administration: re-administer the full dose. If the patient vomits between 30 minutes and 1 hour after administration, re-administer half of the dose.
    • There is a narrow margin between the therapeutic and toxic dose. Doses of 20 mg base/kg in children and 2 g base in adults are considered toxic.
    • Avoid combination with drugs that prolong QT interval: amiodarone, other antimalarials, antipsychotics, fluconazole, fluoroquinolones, hydroxyzine, macrolides, ondansetron, etc.
    • Do not administer simultaneously with antacids (aluminium/magnesium hydroxide, etc.) or calcium carbonate: administer 2 hours apart.
    • Pregnancy: no contra-indication
    • Breast-feeding: no contra-indication


    • Also comes in 100 mg chloroquine base tablet and 50 mg chloroquine base/5 ml syrup.


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