Quinine Sulfate

Where is Quinine Sulfate used?

Quinine Sulfate is an oral medication used for the treatment of malaria. This is used alone or with other medications to treat the condition. Malaria is a mosquito-borne illness caused by a parasite. People with this disease frequently experience chills, fever, and flu-like illnesses.

This medication sometimes may also be used to treat recurrent night-time leg cramps. It can take up to 4 weeks of taking Quinine Sulfate before an improvement in the condition is seen. You should keep a sleep and cramp diary for a few weeks before you start taking Quinine Sulfate and continue this while you are taking it. It is to help you monitor whether the medicine is helping. If your cramps don’t seem to have improved after 4 weeks of taking this drug then it should be stopped.

Quinine Sulfate is an FDA-approved antimalarial medication. This kills the malaria parasites during their development stage in the liver and inside red blood cells.

How does Quinine Sulfate work?

Quinine Sulfate attacks the parasites after they have come into the red blood cells. It stops the parasites from increasing further. Malaria is caused by Plasmodium that is carried by mosquitoes and injected into the bloodstream during a bite from an infected mosquito. When in the blood, the parasites travel to the liver where they multiply. The parasites invade the red blood cells and multiply again once released back into the bloodstream. A definite attack of malaria grows once the red blood cells burst, discharging many parasites into the bloodstream. The attacks do not begin until a sufficient number of blood cells have been infected with parasites.  

How is Quinine Sulfate taken?

The recommended dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to the treatment. This is to be taken by mouth usually every 8 hours for 3 to 7 days or as directed by your doctor. You may take each dose with or without a meal. Your doctor may direct you to start at a lower dose and eventually increase it. Remember to take it at the same time and in the same way each day.

What are the possible side effects of Quinine Sulfate?

  • Mild headache
  • Upset stomach
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision

What are the precautions in taking Quinine Sulfate?

  • Before taking Quinine Sulfate, let your doctor know if you have any medical history especially of kidney or liver problems, heart rhythm, and certain eye nerve problems.
  • This drug may make you feel dizzy or blur your vision. Do not drive or use any machinery that needs your full alertness.
  • While having this medication, limit alcoholic beverages. It can make you dizzier.
  • Let your doctor know if you ever had an allergic reaction to Quinine Sulfate. This product may contain an inactive ingredient that causes an allergic reaction.
  • Do not share this with others even if they have the same symptoms as yours.
  • Call for medical help and stop taking the drug if there are any signs of an overdose.
  • You should not use this for the treatment of other conditions without the consent of your doctor.
  • This is not recommended for use in people with tinnitus, myasthenia gravis, and blood in their urine.