Safety of the combination of chloroquine and methylene blue in healthy adult men with G6PD deficiency from rural Burkina Faso

Trop Med Int Health. 2005 Jan;10(1):32-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3156.2004.01356.x.


New drug combinations against falciparum malaria which are both effective and affordable for Sub-Saharan African populations are urgently needed. The combination of the well-known drugs chloroquine (CQ) and methylene blue (MB) is such a promising new regimen. However, there is some concern that MB could cause development of haemolysis in patients with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency, a condition which is prevalent in malaria-endemic regions. Against this background, 74 G6PD-deficient but otherwise healthy adult men were given a 3-day oral regimen of a total of 1500 mg CQ and 780 mg MB in the District Hospital of Nouna in north-western Burkina Faso. Haemolysis did not occur, haemoglobin levels remained stable or even rose in the study participants, and the drug regimen was well tolerated. Therefore, standard dosages of MB appear to be safe in G6PD-deficient African populations with predominantly class III G6PD deficiency.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antimalarials / administration & dosage
  • Antimalarials / adverse effects*
  • Chloroquine / administration & dosage
  • Chloroquine / adverse effects*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Glucosephosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency / blood
  • Glucosephosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency / complications*
  • Hematocrit
  • Hemoglobins / metabolism
  • Hemolysis / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Malaria, Falciparum / blood
  • Malaria, Falciparum / complications
  • Malaria, Falciparum / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Methylene Blue / administration & dosage
  • Methylene Blue / adverse effects*
  • Middle Aged
  • Rural Health


  • Antimalarials
  • Hemoglobins
  • Chloroquine
  • Methylene Blue