What is Avloclor?
Avloclor is a medicine that is used to prevent malaria, which is a serious disease spread by infected mosquitoes. Medicines used to help prevent malaria are recommended for:
- People travelling to countries where malaria occurs
- People living in malaria areas who are not immune to malaria
Avloclor contains a medicine called chloroquine phosphate which belongs to a group of medicines called anti-malarials which can be taken in certain parts of the world as a defence against malaria.
What is Malaria?
Malaria is a severe tropical disease that is spread by mosquitoes. If not treated or diagnosed quickly, it can be fatal, so if you’re travelling to places where there is a high risk of the disease, you must be aware of the symptoms of malaria.
Symptoms can develop as quickly as 7 days after being infected. Typically, the time between being infected and when symptoms start is between 7-18 days depending on the specific parasite you’re infected with. In some cases, it can take up to a year for symptoms to develop. Initial symptoms of malaria are flu-like and include:
- A high temperature of 38°C or above
- Feeling hot and shivery
- Muscle pains
These symptoms are often mild and it isn’t always easy to identify as malaria. With some types of malaria, symptoms can occur in 48-hour cycles. During these cycles, you can typically feel cold at first with shivering followed by high temperature with severe sweating and fatigue. These symptoms last between 6 and 12 hours.
When to seek medical advice
Seek medical advice as soon as you develop symptoms of malaria during or after a visit to an area where the disease is found.
What is an anti-malarial
Anti-malarial drugs are used to prevent malaria infections. Most anti-malarials target what is known as the erythrocytic stage of the malaria infection which is the phase when symptoms begin to be experienced. There is no vaccine against malaria, so it is essential to take anti-malarial medication to reduce your chances of getting the disease. Antimalarials are usually recommended if you are visiting an area where there is a risk of malaria. The type of anti-malarial medication you be prescribed depends on:
- Where you’re going
- Any relevant family medical history
- Your medical history, including any allergies to medication
- Any medication you’re currently taking
- Any problems you’ve had with antimalarial medicines in the past
- Your age
- Whether you’re pregnant
You may need to take a short trial course of anti-malarial tablets before travelling. This is to check that you don’t have an adverse reaction or side effects.
How does Avloclor work?
Malaria is caused by various types of parasites known as plasmodium, which are carried by mosquitoes and are injected into the bloodstream if bitten by an infected mosquito. The parasite then invades our red blood cells and reproduces. A malaria attack occurs when the infected blood cells burst which releases a mass of parasites into the bloodstream. The active ingredient in Avloclor is chloroquine phosphate which prevents malaria by interfering with the growth of parasites in the red blood cells of the human body.
You must get medical advice on which anti-malarial medicines to take. You must ask your doctor or pharmacist if Avloclor is suitable for the part of the world that you are visiting. In some countries, you may have to take Avloclor with another medicine for maximum protection.
When you are taking this medicine to prevent malaria, you should also reduce the chances of being bitten by mosquitoes
- Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved clothing and long trousers when you are outside after sunset
- Use insect repellent creams or sprays on parts of your body not covered by clothing
- Sleep in a properly screened room or under a mosquito net
- Spray to kill any mosquitoes that may have entered rooms despite screening
No medicine can be guaranteed to protect against malaria in every case. If you have a high temperature (fever) during your visit to a country known for malaria are or up to a year after returning home, you should suspect malaria. Contact a doctor straight away and let him or her know that you have visited a malaria area.
How to take this medicine
Always take Avloclor exactly as described in the leaflet included with this product or as your doctor or a Chemist 4 U pharmacist has told you.
When to start taking this medication
- Start taking this medicine one week before you enter the malaria area
- You must continue to take it during your stay
- You must keep taking this medicine for 4 weeks after leaving the malaria area
Adults and children over 14 years
- Take two Avloclor tablets once a week on the same day each week
- If you are an elderly person your doctor may suggest that you have blood tests. Your doctor may also decide to give you a different dose
Do NOT give Avloclor to children under 1 year of age. For children, over 1 year of age the dose depends on the child’s age
- Ages 1 to 4 years: Take half an Avloclor tablet once a week (on the same day each week)
- Ages 5 to 8 years: Take one Avloclor tablet once a week (on the same day each week)
- Ages 9 to 14 years: Take one and a half Avloclor tablets once a week (on the same day each week)
How to take your tablets
- Take the tablet(s) after food
- Swallow the tablet(s) or part tablets, whole with a drink of water
If you take more Avloclor tablets than you should:
If you accidentally take more Avloclor tablets than you should, tell a doctor straight away. You may experience heart problems, leading to uneven heartbeats.
If you forget to take your Avloclor tablets
- If you forget to take a dose of Avloclor, take it as soon as you remember
- Then wait for 7 days before you take the next dose of Avloclor
- Carry on taking your Avloclor tablets each week, on this new day of the week
Only stop taking Avloclor four weeks after leaving the malaria area or if your doctor tells you to. If you have any questions or are unsure about anything to do with this product, seek advice from your doctor or a Chemist 4 U pharmacist.
When NOT to take this medicine
Do NOT take this medicine if you are allergic to chloroquine phosphate or any of the other ingredients of Avloclor (see ingredients tab for full list) or if you are taking a medicine called amiodarone (used to control the heart rate) as this product may cause uneven heartbeats.
Warnings and precautions
Check with your doctor or a Chemist 4 U pharmacist BEFORE taking this medicine if you:
- Have ever had epilepsy, convulsions or fits
- Have ever had problems with your liver or kidneys
- You have ever been told that you have a rare disease of the blood pigment called ‘porphyria’ or anyone in your family has it. This is because Avloclor may cause severe symptoms of porphyria, particularly if you drink alcohol
- You have a scaly condition of the skin called psoriasis
- You have a muscle problem called ‘myasthenia gravis’. Avloclor can increase the symptoms of this condition. It can also reduce the effect of medicines used to treat this condition.
- You have a blood problem called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency. Avloclor may damage blood cells in people with this condition.
Other medications and Avloclor
Tell your doctor or Chemist 4 U pharmacist if you are taking, taken or might take any other medicines, including medicines that you buy without a prescription and herbal medicines. Avloclor may affect the effectiveness of the following medicines:
- Anti-convulsant medicines
- Medicines are known to affect the rhythm of your heart
- Medicines used to treat epilepsy, as Avloclor may reduce their effectiveness
- Medicines like kaolin
- Antacid medicines
This is not an exhaustive list of who this medicine may not be suitable for. ALWAYS check the product leaflet and if you are unsure seek advice from your doctor or a Chemist 4 U pharmacist.
Remember to notify your doctor or a Chemist 4 U pharmacist if you are on any other medication BEFORE taking this medication.
Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
If you are pregnant or may become pregnant, talk to a doctor or pharmacist before you take Avloclor, before you take any medicine to prevent malaria and before you go to a country where there is malaria. Although Avloclor passes into the breast milk, the amount is not enough to protect your baby from malaria. Your baby will still need to be given anti-malarial medicines.
Driving and using machines
Sometimes Avloclor causes blurred eyesight or makes it difficult to focus your eyes. If this happens to you, do not drive or use any tools or machines.
Like all medicines, Avloclor can cause side effects although not everybody will experience them.
If you experience any of the following side effects, stop taking Avloclor and seek medical help:
- Allergic reactions including difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat
- A severe rash with blisters or peeling of the skin
- Hallucinations (this is rare)
- Cardiac muscle disease
- Abnormal heart rhythm
- Liver problems
- Inflammation of the lungs
- Convulsions or fits
- Some or complete loss of eyesight
- Changes to the retina of your eye
This is not an exhaustive list. ALWAYS check the label before taking any medication.
- Keep this medicine out of sight and reach of children
- Do NOT store your medicine above 30°C
- Protect the tablets from light and moisture
- Keep the tablets in the container they came in
- Do not take Avloclor after the expiry date stated on the carton.
This product is a medicine; make sure to speak to your doctor or Chemist 4 U pharmacist before taking this product if you have an underlying medical problem or are taking any other medicine or complementary therapy. If your symptoms get worse or continue after taking this product, contact us or your doctor. For medical services in your area, please refer to https://www.nhs.uk
If you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, speak to your doctor or our pharmacist before taking this product. If you suffer from any allergies, ask your doctor or our pharmacist if this medicine is right for you.
Store all medicines out of sight and reach of children.
Please read the included leaflet carefully before using this product.
Please contact your GP if appropriate regarding this product.
Helpful Advice on Medication Restrictions & Addiction
For further information on our medication restrictions policy, please click here.
If you are concerned about addiction to 'over the counter' medication, we urge you to visit the below links for professional help and advice:
The active substance in Avloclor Tablets is chloroquine phosphate. Each tablet contains 250 mg of chloroquine phosphate (equivalent to 155 mg of chloroquine base).
The other ingredients are magnesium stearate (E572) and maize starch.
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