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October 1968

Ototoxicity of Chloroquine

Author Affiliations

From the Section of Otolaryngology, University of Chicago School of Medicine, Chicago.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1968;88(4):370-372. doi:10.1001/archotol.1968.00770010372008

CHLOROQUINE PHOSPHATE is a valuable drug used in the control of malaria and the treatment of amebiasis. The drug was developed in the United States during World War II for use as an antimalarial agent because of the shortage of quinine; the drug had been synthesized and studied as early as 1934 in Germany. Chloroquine is related chemically to quinine and, because of this similarity, has been suspected of being an ototoxic drug.1 It is currently being used for the treatment of malaria, amebiasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and for discoid and systemic lupus erythematosus. Side reactions such as skin eruption, bleaching of the hair, partial alopecia, retinopathy and blurred vision are not unusual.2 The drug is usually given by mouth, and is absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract when an acid medium is present. The medication can, however, be given intramuscularly. The usual dose is 0.5 gm/day for antimalarial