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Chloroquine was previously used both for the prevention and treatment of malaria. It was also used for the treatment of some inflammatory and connective tissue diseases.

The ADF no longer uses chloroquine as an anti-malarial medication because the malaria parasites in countries that the ADF deploys to have become resistance to it, meaning it is no longer effective.

Chloroquine is generally well tolerated but not suitable for people with epilepsy or existing eye disease. Minor side effects like headache, dizziness or gut upset are common. With prolonged use (continuous use for 3 to 5 years or more) chloroquine can cause eye problems in some people (irreversible retinal damage).

Like primaquine, chloroquine can cause red blood cell problems in people who lack the glucose-6-phosphate-dehydrogenase (G6PD) enzyme, causing anaemia.

Chloroquine is no longer available in Australia. It is still used in other countries and information from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is available here.