BMJ Case Reports 2012; doi:10.1136/bcr.12.2011.5383
  • Findings that shed new light on the possible pathogenesis of a disease or an adverse effect

Acute life-threatening methaemoglobinaemia following ingestion of chloroquine

  1. Nasar Abdali1
  1. 1General Medicine Department, J N Medical College, Aligarh, UP, India
  2. 2Pathology Department, J N Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, UP, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Imran Rizvi, imranrizvi09{at}


A 25 year old man was rushed to the emergency department when he was found unconscious in his room after taking two chloroquine tablets (600 mg base) for fever prescribed by local practitioner. On examination, the patient was unconscious and deep cyanosis was present on lips, tongue, oral cavity, nail beds and finger tips. Subsequent laboratory investigation revealed methaemoglobin level of 54%. Diagnosis of chloroquine-induced methaemoglobinaemia was made and methylene blue (1 mg/kg) was administered. The patient improved dramatically and was discharged following day.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

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