Active Ingredient: Quinine Sulfate
Quinine was originally used to treat uncomplicated malaria, a disease caused by parasites. Parasites that cause malaria typically enter the body through the bite of a mosquito. Malaria is common in areas such as Africa, South America, and Southern Asia.
Quinine works by attacking the parasites once they have entered the red blood cells. It kills the parasites and prevents them from multiplying further. It is not fully understood how it kills the parasites.
Quinine is also sometimes used to treat recurrent night-time leg cramps, for instance in people with diabetes or varicose veins. It’s thought to prevent muscle cramps by reducing the sensitivity of muscle cells to stimuli that cause them to contract, as well as by prolonging the time it takes for the muscle to contract. Quinine tends to reduce the number and severity of leg cramps, but may not stop them completely.
It can take up to four weeks of taking quinine before an improvement in leg cramps is seen.
Using this medication improperly or without the advice of a doctor can result in serious side effects or death.
Quinine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
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Brand-name and generic products are theraputically equivalent
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