The antimalarials, chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, and quinacrine, are used primarily for malaria; but they can be beneficial for cutaneous lupus erythematosus (LE), polymorphous light eruption, solar urticaria, and porphyria cutanea tarda. Antimalarials bind to deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) which prevents DNA and ribonucleic acid (RNA) polymerase reactions and DNA heat inactivation; and they inhibit the LE cell phenomenon, antinuclear antibody reactions, and suppress lymphocyte transformation. By competing with calcium ion, they stabilize membranes and have an anesthetic effect. Their anti-inflammatory potential is due to their inhibition of hydrolytic enzymes, stabilization of lysosomes, interference with prostaglandin synthesis, blocking of chemotaxis, and antagonism of histamine responses. The antimalarials have no sunscreening properties. The most common toxic effects are cutaneous pigmentation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, mild ileus, and cycloplegia. There has been a reluctance to use chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine because of the possibility of retinopathy. However, if the "safe" daily dose limit of chloroquine, 2 mg per pound of body weight, and of hydroxychloroquine, 3.5 mg per pound of body weight, is followed, the chance of retinopathy is slight. Quinacrine does not cause retinopathy, but it has more cutaneous side effects than the other two agents.