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Quinine - Brief Review of a Potentially Dangerous Drug


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Quinine is a medication that is used for treating malaria which is spread by mosquitoes in certain parts of the world. This medication can be used either alone or it can be used with other medications. This medication is classified as antimalarials. This is a medication that will work by killing off the bacteria and organisms that result in malaria.

This medication was discovered in the 17th century and has still remained an effective treatment option. In the 1940s however it began being replaced with several other alternatives. This drug is additionally used for treating babesiosis which can be life threatening and is something that is transmitted from an animal to a child. People who suffer with arthritis as well as lupus may also find some benefit to using Quinine. This medication additionally was once used for nocturnal cramps in the legs until the FDA called it dubious.

Side Effects

Regardless of the medicine you are taking, there are always side effects that may come along and while some are minor there are others who experience more severe side effects. Some people may not even have any at all. Here are some of the side effects that you may experience while taking this medication:

  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Flushing
  • Dizziness

There are also more severe ones that you should talk to your doctor about if you experience them including :

Chest tightness
Blood in the urine
Yellowing of skin or eyes
Back pain
Cold sweat

  • Confusion
  • Vision changes
  • Red spots
  • Tiredness
  • Facial swelling as well as swelling of the lips, mouth, or tongue
  • Double vision
  • Decreased appetite
  • Severe dizziness
  • Speech issues
  • Muscle weakness
  • Blindness
  • Hearing loss or a ringing in your ears
  • Fainting
  • Fast heartbeat

Quinine may also have side effects on the skin such as rashes as well as puritus and flushing. Hematologic side effects included thrombotic thrombocytopenic as well as coagulation. There were also reported gastrointestinal effects that included nausea, vomiting, upset stomach and gastrointestinal upset.

The FDA has only allowed one medication, which is known as Qualaquin and this is also designed to help with treating malaria. There are no other drugs that are currently approved by the FDA for treating this and this is even with thousands of drugs available nowadays.

December of 2006 brought about press releases from the FDA and these firms mandated this drug to not be manufactured anymore. This is especially true for drugs that are off-label. There are tonic waters that contain this substance of Quinine and this can cause damage as well to individuals. If you notice any symptoms it is best to talk to your doctor because this could be something serious that has come about as a result of this medication.

Many people suffer with serious side effects as a result of taking Quinine and that has led to manufacturers halting production. This is something that should not be used by anyone.

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