Description Of Quinine

Quinine is a prescription medication used to treat malaria.

Quinine is a prescription medication prescribed to treat those with malaria. states that the FDA has banned the sale of all non-approved brands of quinine in the United States. Currently, the only FDA approved brand of quinine is Qualaquin.


Malaria is a condition caused by parasites. Contracting malaria is possible through the bite of a mosquito and it is most common in Africa, Southern Asia and South America. Taking quinine exactly as prescribed by the doctor is very important, and failure to do so could result in serious illness or death. Doctors have prescribed quinine for leg cramp; however, the FDA has not approved quinine for this use.

Risk Factors

Patients who have a history of heart disease, low levels of potassium, kidney disease or liver disease are at an increased risk of side effects when taking quinine. Those that have had an allergic reaction to quinine or similar medications should not take it because of the risk of a life-threatening allergic reaction. According to, the effects of quinine on an unborn child are unknown. Quinine is in the FDA pregnancy C category, which means the safety of the drug has not been determined through human or animal studies.

Side Effects

Quinine can cause side effects such as headache, dizziness, blurred vision, spinning sensations, sweating, nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain, muscle weakness or a tingling sensation on the skin. Serious side effects include fever, chills, confusion, chest pain, severe vomiting, trouble hearing, trouble breathing, pounding heart, decreased urination, shallow breathing, feeling faint, easy bruising, fever, sore throat, red blister rash, jaundice, dark stool and loss of appetite. Breaking out in hives, wheezing and swelling of the face and throat is a sign of a life-threatening allergic reaction and requires emergency medical attention.

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