30 Jun 2017
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General Info: Uses and Effects
Malaria is a disease that is still present in some parts of the world, and every journey to these, most often tropical regions, carries a potential risk of infection. Although this condition is curable if it's detected and treated in a timely manner, symptoms may be unpleasant.
The first symptoms of malaria are imperceptible - it can take several weeks for them to appear. After the sting of infected mosquitoes, which are the major carriers of Plasmodium parasites, known as causative agents of this infectious disease, the first phase of parasite development in the human organism takes place in the liver.
After a few days, parasites transfer into the blood and enter erythrocytes. Here the parasites are multiplied by division; after two or three days, the red blood cells break down, and a large number of parasites move to bloodstream again. This process of parasitic reproduction and cracking of erythrocytes repeat several times, and the first symptoms occur only after several of these circles. In case parasites move to other tissues, the doctor may prescribe additional therapy.
Aralen is used as a malaria therapy at the stage when parasites enter the erythrocytes; then the active ingredient Chloroquine has the task of killing parasites and preventing their spread into the bloodstream, without damaging red blood cells.
Chloroquine phosphate belongs to the group of antimalarial and amebicidal drugs. Medicine and pharmacy are in constant struggle with Plasmodium parasites, which in time have created resistance to a large number of antimalarial drugs. For example, in many countries with a high number of malaria-infected, Chloroquine happens to be ineffective as therapy. Therefore, Aralen is used as the treatment in people who got infected after visiting risky areas.
Contraindication: Important to Know
If the doctor plans to prescribe you the Aralen therapy, it should be informed about your health condition and history of diseases, especially if you suffer from psoriasis, some visual and hearing disorders, or if you have been diagnosed with some liver issues. Also, if you have a history of treatment for alcoholism or narcotics, be sure to tell your doctor.
During treatment, potential allergic reactions may occur if the patient is sensitive to Chloroquine or any other substance found in Aralen. In that case, you should urgently visit a doctor to prevent potential anaphylactic shock.
If you have balance problems, or notice feculence or flashes in your vision and excessive pressure appear in your eyes, stop with the therapy and contact your doctor. It can happen to people who are on the long-term therapy with Chloroquine because it can cause damaging of the eye retina.
In case of pregnancy, the safe use of Aralen has not been tested in total. This medicine is in Pregnancy C list of drugs; it means that there is a potential risk of miscarriage, damage fetus or prevention of its normal development. However, experts advise the use of a drug under enhanced medical supervision, and only in cases when the health condition of the pregnant woman allows the application of Aralen.
In the period of lactation, women taking the antimalarial therapy should not breastfeed, because there is a risk of the Chloroquine dose that will be excreted in breast milk, and which influence on the newborn is not known.
Instructions on Taking
Aralen is prescribed for the treatment, but also for the prevention of malaria in people planning to travel to endangered areas that are labeled as high-risk. Since Chloroquine is consumed in intervals, it is essential to take the therapy every week at the same time, to maintain the optimal level of the active substance in the organism.
In order to avoid contraindications related to the digestive system, do not take Aralen on an empty stomach. The drug has a bitter taste, so children may have a repulsive effect on swallowing the medicine. In that case, you can crash the pill and mix it into the glass of water, making sure that the patient will drink it at once.
If your doctor prescribes Aralen Chloroquine as a form of prevention, it should be taken at least two weeks before the trip, once a week on the same day, or according to your doctor's instructions. The prescribed dose is 300mg of Chloroquine. Therapy should be taken once a week while you are in the area; after returning, you should use Aralen as prevention for another four weeks, in case you are infected and symptoms have not appeared yet. If necessary, the therapy can be increased by prescribing a dose of 10mg per kilogram of body weight, and not standard of 5mg.
If you start with the conventional Aralen therapy, the initial prescribed dose is 1000mg, i.e., 600mg of Chloroquine. Another pill of 500mg should be given over the next six hours, and in the next two days, the same dosage should be repeated per day. One 500mg tablet contains 300mg of Chloroquine; if necessary, it can be divided into multiple doses.
In the case of Aralen, the onset of tiredness, diarrhea, mild vertigo, and headaches can be common in the first few days, while the body gets used to a specific dose of the active substance Chloroquine. If symptoms persist, inform your doctor; may need to adjust the dose, or change the therapy.
When the Aralen therapy is administered for a long time, severe side effects, such as visual impairment, hearing problems, rash and redness on the skin, hair loss, or muscle weakness may occur. These symptoms may affect the daily activities of the patient, and the doctor should be informed as soon as you notice them.
Interaction with Other Drugs
We will specify you a short list of drugs that can interact with Aralen Chloroquine:
- Medicines for the treatment of psychosomatic and psychical disorders;
- Some analgesics, such as Methadone or Tramadol, along with Aralen can cause seizures;
- Medicines that have the same purpose, such as Lariam and Halofantrine, which can affect the heart disorders;
- The effect of birth-control pills may be reduced during the Aralen therapy.
For more information, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
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