Dr. I is a bit concern with my weight. And so he decided that I should be taking a low dose prednisone to stop the weight gain. But he cannot just reduced it without any replacement since my urinalysis shows some PUS CELLS and a TRACE OF ALBUMIN. I cannot take PLAQUENIL because every time I tried I have joint pains. And our last option is CHLOROQUINE. Though he keeps on reminding me that I need to have my eyes checked every six months because of side effect.
From this link, you can see that CHLOROQUINE is used to treat malaria.
* It has long been used in the treatment or prevention of malaria. After the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum started to develop widespread resistance to chloroquine, new potential utilisations of this cheap and widely available drug have been investigated.
* As it mildly suppresses the immune system, it is used in some autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus erythematosus.
* Chloroquine is in clinical trials as an investigational antiretroviral in humans with HIV-1/AIDS and as a potential antiviral agent against chikungunya fever.
* The radiosensitizing and chemosensitizing properties of chloroquine are beginning to be exploited in anticancer strategies in humans
Side effects includes :
At the doses used for prevention of malaria, side-effects include gastrointestinal problems such as stomach ache, itch, headache, and blurred vision.
Chloroquine-induced itching is very common among black Africans (70%), but much less common in other races. It increases with age, and is so severe as to stop compliance with drug therapy. It is increased during malaria fever, its severity correlated to the malaria parasite load in blood. There is evidence that it has a genetic basis and is related to chloroquine action with opiate receptors centrally or peripherally.
When doses are extended over a number of months, it is important to watch out for a slow onset of “changes in moods” (i.e., depression, anxiety). These may be more pronounced with higher doses used for treatment. Chloroquine tablets have an unpleasant metallic taste.
A serious side-effect is also a rare toxicity in the eye (generally with chronic use), and requires regular monitoring even when symptom-free. The daily safe maximum doses for eye toxicity can be computed from one’s height and weight using this calculator. The use of Chloroquine has also been associated with the development of Central Serous Retinopathy.
I still don’t know what is the effect of this drug on me as I have yet to buy it from the drugstore.