Research Article

Safety of chloroquine in chemosuppression of malaria during pregnancy.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985; 290 doi: (Published 18 May 1985) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985;290:1466
  1. M S Wolfe,
  2. J F Cordero


    A cohort of 169 births to women who were exposed throughout pregnancy to chloroquine 300 mg base once a week for chemosuppression of malaria was studied. The birth defects in this cohort were compared with those in a control group of 454 births to women who were not exposed to chloroquine, most of whom lived in non-malarious areas. The proportion of birth defects in the exposed group was not significantly different from that in the control group. This observation must be considered within the limitations of the study, which could detect only a strong teratogenic effect. It could not exclude risks lower than a 5.7-fold increase in the incidence of birth defects when chloroquine was used. Women using chloroquine during pregnancy for chemosuppression of malaria can be reassured that it is not a strong teratogen, but if it is to be used the risk of developing malaria should be balanced against the lack of data to determine whether it carries a low teratogenic risk.