Chloroquine pharmacokinetics in pregnant and nonpregnant women with vivax malaria

Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2008 Oct;64(10):987-92. doi: 10.1007/s00228-008-0500-z. Epub 2008 Jul 2.


Purpose: We compared the pharmacokinetics of chloroquine in pregnant and nonpregnant women treated for Plasmodium vivax malaria.

Methods: Twelve pregnant women and 15 nonpregnant women of child-bearing age with acute P. vivax malaria were treated with 25 mg chloroquine base/kg over 3 days on the northwestern border of Thailand. Blood concentrations of chloroquine and desethylchloroquine were measured using hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography coupled with fluorescence detection. Twenty-five women completed the pharmacokinetic study.

Results: Although increasing gestational age was associated with reduced chloroquine AUC0-->infinity, there was no significant difference overall in the pharmacokinetics of chloroquine between pregnant and nonpregnant women. Fever was associated with lower chloroquine AUC0-->infinity values. Desethylchloroquine area under the curve (AUC) values were not significantly affected by pregnancy.

Conclusions: Pregnancy did not significantly affect blood concentrations of chloroquine or its metabolite, desethylchloroquine, in women with P. vivax malaria.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Antimalarials / administration & dosage
  • Antimalarials / blood
  • Antimalarials / pharmacokinetics*
  • Antimalarials / therapeutic use
  • Area Under Curve
  • Chloroquine / administration & dosage
  • Chloroquine / analogs & derivatives
  • Chloroquine / blood
  • Chloroquine / metabolism
  • Chloroquine / pharmacokinetics*
  • Chloroquine / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Malaria, Vivax / complications
  • Malaria, Vivax / drug therapy
  • Malaria, Vivax / epidemiology*
  • Plasmodium vivax / metabolism*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Parasitic / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thailand / epidemiology
  • Young Adult


  • Antimalarials
  • Chloroquine
  • desethylchloroquine