For the majority of chronic asthmatics, symptoms are best controlled using inhaled steroids, but for a small group of asthma sufferers, symptoms cannot be controlled using inhaled steroids and instead continuous use of high dosage oral steroids (corticosteroids) are required. However, using high dosage oral steroids for long periods is associated with severe side effects. Steroid-sparing treatments have been sought and one of these is chloroquine. Chloroquine is an anti-inflammatory agent, also used in the treatment of malarial infection and as a second-line therapy in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, sarcoidosis and systemic lupus erythematosus. All these diseases are associated with immunologic abnormalities hence the speculation that chloroquine might be used to control severe, poorly controlled bronchial asthma. There is a need to systematically evaluate the evidence regarding its use to reduce or eliminate oral corticosteroid use in asthma.