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No evidence for chloroquine-associated retinopathy among missionaries on long-term malaria chemoprophylaxis

  [ 20 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
www.ProHealth.com • October 2, 1994


Chloroquine continues to have a limited role in the chemoprophylaxis
against malaria. Although periodic ophthalmologic examinations
are recommended with weekly suppressive dosing, the occurrence
of retinopathy associated with this regimen is unproven.
Surveillance of career missionaries was conducted to explore
the association between total body burden of chloroquine and
the development of retinopathy. Five hundred eighty-eight
missionaries, reflecting 6,250 person-years of chloroquine
exposure were surveyed; 53 persons reflecting 560 person-years
exposure with a median cumulative chloroquine dose in excess
of 300 g were examined. Only one case of chloroquine-induced
retinopathy was detected. This occurred in a missionary who
had inappropriately taken chloroquine daily for at least six
years as an anti-inflammatory agent for a connective tissue
disorder. We also observed that expatriates often overused
chloroquine because of apprehension about malaria and used the
drug for unrelated conditions. Our results failed to
demonstrate an association between a weekly chloroquine dosing
regimen and drug-induced retinopathy.

Lange WR, Frankenfield DL, Moriarty-Sheehan M, Contoreggi CS, Frame
JD




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