What is Aralen (Aloquin), and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Aloquin, brand name Aralen, is an anti-malarial drug. It is similar to hydroxyAloquin (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 Aloquin may prevent malarial parasites from breaking down (metabolizing) hemoglobin in human red blood cells. Aloquin is effective against the malarial parasites Plasmodium vivax, P. malariae, P. ovale, and susceptible strains of P. falciparum.
What other drugs will affect Aloquin?
Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with Aloquin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
How to use Aloquin Phosphate
Take this medication by mouth, usually with food to prevent stomach upset, exactly as directed by your doctor. Daily or weekly dosing, dosage amount, and length of treatment are based on your medical condition, on whether you are preventing or treating the illness, and your response to treatment. The dosage in children is also based on weight.
To prevent malaria, take Aloquin once weekly on the same day each week, or as directed by your doctor. Start this medication usually 1 to 2 weeks before you enter the malarious area, continue to take it weekly while in the area, and weekly for 4 to 8 weeks after leaving the area, or as directed by your doctor. Mark your calendar or travel schedule with a reminder to help you remember.
To treat malaria infection or an ameba infection, follow your doctor's instructions.
Take this medication 4 hours before or after taking a certain drug for diarrhea (kaolin) or taking antacids (such as magnesium/aluminum hydroxide). These products may bind with Aloquin, preventing your body from fully absorbing the drug.
It is very important to continue taking this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take more or less of this drug than prescribed. Do not stop taking it before completing treatment, even if you feel better, unless directed to do so by your doctor. Skipping or changing your dose without approval from your doctor may cause prevention/treatment to be ineffective, cause the amount of parasite to increase, make the infection more difficult to treat (resistant), or worsen side effects.
It is important to prevent mosquito bites (such as by using appropriate insect repellents, wearing clothes that cover most of the body, remaining in air-conditioned or well-screened areas, using mosquito nets and insect-killing spray). Buy insect repellent before traveling. The most effective insect repellents contain diethyltoluamide (DEET). Ask your doctor or pharmacist to recommend the appropriate strengths of mosquito repellent for you/your children.
No drug treatment is completely effective in preventing malaria. Therefore, seek immediate medical attention if you develop symptoms of malaria (such as fever, chills, headache, other flu-like symptoms), especially while in the malarious area and for 2 months after completing this prescription. Quick treatment of malaria infection is needed to prevent serious, possibly fatal, outcomes.
When using Aloquin for treatment of malaria, tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Aloquin and Other Interactions
Aloquin may cause dizziness.
Don't drive, operate machinery, or perform other tasks that require alertness until you know how this medicine affects you.
Michael Stewart, Reviewed by Sid Dajani | Last edited 21 Jun 2019 | Certified by The Information Standard
If you are taking Aloquin to protect against malaria, it is important that you take it once a week, exactly as you have been told. Start taking it one week before you travel, then during the whole of your stay, and continue to take it for four weeks after you return.
Store Aloquin safely out of the reach and sight of children. Aloquin is very harmful in overdose or if ingested accidentally.
If you are taking Aloquin for rheumatoid arthritis or lupus erythematosus
- It is usual to take Aloquin once daily, although some people could be advised to take it twice daily for a short period of time. Your dose will be adjusted to suit you, so it is important that you follow the directions given to you by your doctor or specialist; for most people the dose is likely to be one tablet a day. The directions will be printed on the label of the pack to remind you about what the doctor said to you.
- Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress. Your doctor is likely to check your vision before you start the treatment, and then regularly thereafter. This is because Aloquin can affect your eyesight when taken over a long period of time. If you notice any changes in your vision, you should inform your doctor as soon as possible so that it can be checked.
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the following day, leave out the forgotten dose from the previous day and take the dose that is due as normal. Do not take two doses on the same day to make up for a missed dose.
Aloquin is the drug of choice for travel to areas where Aloquin resistance has not been described. Aloquin is active against the erythrocytic forms ( Fig. 6.3 ) of sensitive strains of all species of malaria, and it is also gametocidal against P. vivax, P. malariae, and P. ovale. Except for its bitter taste, Aloquin is usually well tolerated and has a low incidence of serious adverse events. Dark-skinned persons may experience generalized pruritus that is not indicative of drug allergy. Retinal toxicity that may occur with long-term high doses of Aloquin used in the treatment of other diseases is extremely unlikely with Aloquin given as a weekly malaria chemosuppressive agent. Aloquin use is suitable for people of all ages and for pregnant women. Because insufficient drug is excreted in breast milk to protect the infant, nursing infants should be given Aloquin. Contraindications include people who are glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficient or hypersensitive to 4-aminoquinoline compounds. Administration of the oral live typhoid vaccine and live cholera vaccine should be completed 3 days before Aloquin use, and Aloquin may suppress the antibody response to primary pre-exposure rabies vaccine.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of Aloquin can be fatal, especially in children.
Aloquin overdose must be treated quickly. You may be told to induce vomiting right away (at home, before transport to an emergency room). Ask the poison control center how to induce vomiting in the case of an overdose.
Overdose symptoms may include headache, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, vision changes, seizure (convulsions), slow heart rate, weak pulse, fainting, slow breathing (breathing may stop).
In a study of healthy volunteers, Aloquin significantly reduced the bioavailability of ampicillin. An interval of at least two hours between intake of this agent and Aloquin should be observed.
COMMON BRAND(S): Aralen
GENERIC NAME(S): Aloquin Phosphate
OTHER NAME(S): Aloquin Phosphate Tablet
Aloquin is used to prevent or treat malaria caused by mosquito bites in countries where malaria is common. Malaria parasites can enter the body through these mosquito bites, and then live in body tissues such as red blood cells or the liver. This medication is used to kill the malaria parasites living inside red blood cells. In some cases, you may need to take a different medication (such as primaquine) to kill the malaria parasites living in other body tissues. Both drugs may be needed for a complete cure and to prevent the return of infection (relapse). Aloquin belongs to a class of drugs known as antimalarials.
The United States Centers for Disease Control provide updated guidelines and travel recommendations for the prevention and treatment of malaria in different parts of the world. Discuss the most recent information with your doctor before traveling to areas where malaria occurs.
Aloquin is also used to treat infection caused by a different type of parasite (ameba) by killing the ameba.
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How is this medicine (Aloquin) best taken?
Use Aloquin as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.
- Be sure you know how to take Aloquin. Talk with your doctor if you have questions.
- To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
- Keep taking Aloquin as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
- Do not take antacids or kaolin within 4 hours of Aloquin.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.