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Drug Guide    Q   Quin-Amino

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This medication is used to treat a parasite infection of the red blood cells (malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum). Quinine sulfate belongs to a class of drugs known as antimalarials. It works by killing the form of the malaria parasite that infects the red blood cells. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that quinine should not be used to treat leg cramps. It has not been shown to work for this use and may cause serious side effects.

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OverviewPhotosHow To UseSide EffectsPrecautionsMissed DoseDrug Interactions

This medication is used to treat a parasite infection of the red blood cells (malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum). Quinine sulfate belongs to a class of drugs known as antimalarials. It works by killing the form of the malaria parasite that infects the red blood cells. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that quinine should not be used to treat leg cramps. It has not been shown to work for this use and may cause serious side effects.
  • Do not share this medication with others.Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., G6PD blood level, vision tests, blood potassium, liver tests, kidney tests, EKG) may be performed before you start this medication.
  • Consult your doctor for more details.

  • Store at room temperature between 77-86 degrees F (25-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture.
  • Do not store in the bathroom.
  • Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

  • Symptoms of overdose may include: sudden loss of vision, severe dizziness, severe sweating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, severe trouble hearing, fast/irregular heartbeat, drowsiness, fainting, slow/shallow breathing, severe shortness of breath, mental/mood changes (confusion, trouble thinking), seizures, inability to wake up (coma).

How To Use
  • Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using quinine and each time you get a refill.
  • If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.Take this medication by mouth with or without food exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
  • This medication is usually taken every 8 hours for 7 days or as directed by your doctor.
  • If you have stomach upset with quinine, take it with food.Dosage is based on your kidney function, medical condition, and response to therapy.It is very important to continue taking this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
  • This medication works best when the amount of drug in your body is kept at a constant level.
  • Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals.
  • To help you remember, take it at the same times each day.Do not take more or less of this drug than prescribed.
  • Do not stop taking it before completing this prescription unless directed to do so by your doctor, even if you feel better.
  • Skipping or changing your dose without approval from your doctor may cause the amount of parasite to increase, make the infection more difficult to treat (resistant), or worsen side effects.Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens after 1-2 days of taking this medication.
  • If your fever returns after completing this prescription, contact your doctor so that he/she can determine whether the malaria has returned.

Side Effects
  • See also Overdose section.Headache, flushing, unusual sweating, nausea, ringing in the ears, decreased hearing, dizziness, blurred vision, and temporary changes in color vision may occur.
  • Less common side effects may include signs of low blood sugar (e.g., sweating, shakiness, confusion, extreme hunger).
  • If you experience these symptoms, promptly drink some fruit juice or have a snack, and call your doctor immediately.
  • If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects.
  • Many people using this medication may experience these side effects, but with frequent visits to your doctor, this risk can be reduced.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: signs of a serious immune system problem (e.g., unusual tiredness, joint/muscle aches, unusual fever, butterfly-shaped facial rash, swollen glands), chest pain, easy bruising/bleeding, signs of serious infection (e.g., high fever, severe chills, persistent sore throat), signs of a sudden loss of red blood cells hemolytic anemia (e.g., severe tiredness, brown urine, pale lips/nails/skin, fast heartbeat and rapid breathing at rest), signs of severe liver problems (e.g., persistent nausea/vomiting, abdominal pain, severe weakness, yellow skin/eyes, unusually dark urine), decrease in the amount of urine.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare.
  • However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing.If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

  • Before taking quinine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to quinidine or mefloquine; or if you have any other allergies.This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions.
  • Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: previous serious side effects with quinine (e.g., blood problems), certain heart problems (congenital or acquired long QT syndromes, torsade de pointes), very low blood potassium, a certain enzyme problem (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency-G6PD), a certain nerve/muscle disease (myasthenia gravis), a certain eye nerve problem (optic neuritis).Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: certain heart rhythm problems (atrial fibrillation/flutter), kidney problems, severe liver problems, family history of favism/G6PD deficiency.This drug may make you dizzy.
  • Use caution while driving, using machinery, or doing any activity that requires alertness.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages.Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug, especially dizziness, irregular heartbeat, and low blood sugar.This medication must not be used during pregnancy.
  • If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, inform your doctor immediately.This drug passes into breast milk.
  • This medication is considered safe in breast-feeding.
  • Do not breast-feed if your infant has G6PD deficiency.

Missed Dose
  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember.
  • If it is within 4 hours of the time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule.
  • Do not double the dose to catch up.

Drug Interactions
  • Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them.
  • Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.This drug should generally not be used with the following medications because very serious interactions may occur: disopyramide, amiodarone, quinidine, procainamide, flecainide, propafenone, sotalol, ibutilide, droperidol, bepridil, ziprasidone, dofetilide, cisapride, arbutamine, pimozide, astemizole, halofantrine, mefloquine, penicillamine.These drugs, among others, may affect the heart rhythm (QTc prolongation in the EKG).
  • QTc prolongation can infrequently result in a serious (rarely fatal) irregular heartbeat.
  • Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details and for instructions on how you may reduce the risk of this effect.Medications that increase or decrease quinine blood levels should also usually be avoided (e.g., erythromycin, troleandomycin, rifampin).If you are currently using any of these medications listed above, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting quinine.Antacids containing aluminum and magnesium hydroxide should be taken more than 2 hours before or after a quinine dose.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: digoxin, carbamazepine, phenobarbital, warfarin, desipramine.

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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