Do not purchase quinine on the Internet or from vendors outside of the United States. In 1994 the FDA banned quinine from over-the-counter sale. Tonic water has since become a common mixer with liquor, the most well-known combination being gin and tonic. Doctors continued to prescribe quinine sulfate for restless legs as well as leg cramps. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The Peopleâs Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The Peopleâs Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The Peopleâs Pharmacy website. Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. On December 12, 2006, the FDA ordered unapproved quinine drug products to be removed from the market and cautioned consumers about the off-label use of quinine … Quinine is present in drinks such as tonic water and bitter lemon. Do not purchase quinine on the Internet or from vendors outside of the United States. The bark of the cinchona tree yielded quinine, which quickly became popular throughout Europe for treating fevers. While it was once used to manage painful, nocturnal (night time) leg cramps, the FDA banned over-the-counter sales of this compound because it has potential to be misused, is not always effective and can cause side effects. Never take more than the prescribed dose. Available for Android and iOS devices. If you need surgery or medical tests, tell your caregivers ahead of time that you are using quinine. We discuss a number of home remedies and other approaches to this common problem in our Guide to Leg Pain.Â One reader had good results from an inexpensive remedy: âAfter suffering with leg cramps for over 30 years, I heard about putting a bar of soap under the bottom sheet of the bed. Hydroquinone products are very popular in Asian and African markets for their skin-lightening properties. Parasites that cause malaria typically enter the body through the bite of a mosquito. We're empowering you to make wise decisions about your own health, by providing you with essential health information about both medical and alternative treatment options. The Quechua people of Peru used the bark of the Cinchona to prevent shivering by creating a mix of ground bark with a sweetened water thus producing tonic water. Other approaches to nocturnal leg cramps include drinking low-sodium V-8 juice, consuming extra calcium, magnesium and B vitamins. When used as a drug, why is quinine now banned? Self-medication using quinine can be extremely risky, so see your doctor for treatment of conditions where quinine may be prescribed. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Do not use quinine to treat any condition that has not been checked by your doctor. Take this medication for the full prescribed length of time. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Use only the type of antacid your doctor recommends. Every evening I have a large glass of tonic water and have no more cramps! In 1994 the FDA banned quinine from over-the-counter sale. Tonic water is a soft drink containing quinine, which gives it a bitter taste. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. Take with food if quinine upsets your stomach. But quinine was popular as a treatment for nighttime leg cramps. Drugs.com provides accurate and independent information on more than 24,000 prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. Quinine is used to treat uncomplicated malaria, a disease caused by parasites. What a relief to be able to finally get a good nightâs sleep!â. Quinine was traditionally used as a method of treatment for malaria, arthritis, and nocturnal leg cramps. For years, people bought this drug in over-the-counter products such as Legatrin, Q-vel and Quinamm to relieve muscle cramps. Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 2 days of treatment, or if your symptoms return after you have finished the medicine. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication. The more rigorous ban made millions of people unhappy. Despite this, nearly two million Americans took quinine to relieve their leg cramps. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has banned the sale of all non-approved brands of quinine. However, despite its side effects, quinine was preferred as a remedy for leg cramps until 1994, when the US government banned the use of quinine except in the treatment of malaria. Generic Name: quinine (KWYE nine)Brand Name: Qualaquin, QM-260, Quinamm, Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Mar 25, 2020 – Written by Cerner Multum. There is recent evidence to support the FDAâs decision to limit quinine prescriptions. Over the years, more than 90 people have died of quinine complications. Why does the FDA warn against the use of quinine to treat or prevent leg cramps and related conditions? if you have taken quinine in the past and it caused a blood cell disorder, severe bleeding, or kidney problems. This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Doctors may still prescribe quinine, but the FDA has ordered firms to stop marketing unapproved drug products containing quinine. Why would the Food and Drug Administration ban quinine when it is the only thing that works? The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided that because leg cramping was more of an annoyance than a life-threatening illness - and that taking quinine for leg cramping could prove fatal - that the risk clearly outweighed the benefits. fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat; easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin; headache with chest pain and severe dizziness, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeats; sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), sudden severe headache, slurred speech, problems with balance; chest pain, sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, coughing up blood; pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs; severe pain in your side or lower back, blood in your urine, little or no urine; low blood sugar (more common in pregnant women)--headache, hunger, weakness, sweating, confusion, irritability, dizziness, fast heart rate, or feeling jittery; loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or. Some people have found, however, that drinking tonic water can alleviate leg cramps, especially those that occur at night. Using this medication improperly or without the advice of a doctor can result in serious side effects or death. Avoid using antacids without your doctor's advice. These remedies appear to be safer than quinine, and possibly even better than tonic water. Version: 9.01. doxycycline, clindamycin, hydroxychloroquine, Plaquenil, Cleocin. Dec. 12, 2006 -- The FDA is telling people not to use the malaria drug quinine for leg cramps, citing potentially deadly side effects. Tell your doctor about all your medications and any you start or stop using during treatment with quinine, especially: an antibiotic--azithromycin, clarithromycin, erythromycin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, pentamidine, telithromycin, tetracycline; an antidepressant--amitriptyline, citalopram, clomipramine, desipramine, nefazodone, venlafaxine; antifungal medication--itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, voriconazole; cholesterol-lowering medicine--atorvastatin, simvastatin, lovastatin; cough medicine that contains dextromethorphan; heart medication--amiodarone, digoxin, dofetilide, disopyramide, dronedarone, flecainide, ibutilide, metoprolol, procainamide, propafenone, quinidine, sotalol, verapamil; hepatitis C medications--boceprevir, telaprevir; HIV/AIDS medication--atazanavir, delavirdine, efavirenz, fosamprenavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, nevirapine, ritonavir, saquinavir; medicine to prevent or treat nausea and vomiting--dolasetron, droperidol, ondansetron; medicine to treat a psychiatric disorder--chlorpromazine, clozapine, haloperidol, mesoridazine, pimozide, thioridazine, ziprasidone; seizure medication--carbamazepine, fosphenytoin, oxcarbazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone; stomach acid reducers--cimetidine, ranitidine; or. The ban also applies to all higher strength, prescription-only generic formulations of the drug, but one manufacturer, Mutual Pharmaceutical Company, Inc., will still be … Quinine is a drug used to treat malaria, but some firms have been marketing “off label” for treatment of leg cramps. Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. After much pain, I discovered tonic water contains quinine. Qualaquin is approved only for treating certain types of malaria, and it cost (in 2007) more than $4 per pill. Even people who used quinine successfully for years no longer have access to it. Other hazards include severe headache, visual disturbances, rash, itching, ringing in the ears, nausea, diarrhea and liver damage. An Augustinian monk wrote about the uses of the âfever treeâ back in 1633. The FDA banned quinine for preventing leg cramps because the drug can cause potentially lethal reactions. Select one or more newsletters to continue. Avoid taking other anti-malaria medications without your doctor's advice. Follow all directions on your prescription label. The agency decided that quinine was too dangerous for people to take without medical supervision. The FDA proposed a ban on over-the-counter sales of hydroquinone-containing products on August 29, 2006. One popular remedy is pickle juice or pickle relish. In fact, the FDA has banned all but one brand of quinine, Qualaquin, for medicinal use. Quinine can cause serious side effects, including life-threatening anemia and irregular heartbeats. Then the FDA decided to crack down. He takes one pill each night before bedtime and gets wonderful results.â. The FDA has issued warnings about quinine since 1994 and more recently about its minimal effectiveness in treating leg cramps. If a pregnant woman took quinine, her baby could be born with a defect. Pfizer Pharmaceuticals had been selling the brand name Legatrin for this purpose. Quinine is currently approved only for the treatment of malaria in the U.S. You should not take quinine if you have a heart rhythm disorder called Long QT syndrome, a genetic enzyme deficiency called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G-6-PD), myasthenia gravis, optic neuritis (inflammation of the nerves in your eyes), if you have taken quinine in the past and it caused a blood cell disorder or severe bleeding. Quinine, when found in small doses in tonic water, is safe to consume. It is not considered safe and ef-fective for the treatment or prevention of leg cramps-- an headache, blurred vision, changes in color vision; sweating or flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling); mild dizziness, spinning sensation, ringing in your ears; or. To make sure quinine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have: heart disease or a heart rhythm disorder; low potassium levels in your blood (hypokalemia); or. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows tonic water to contain no more than 83 parts per million of quinine, because there can be side effects from quinine. But quinine was popular as a treatment for nighttime leg cramps. Even before the Spanish discovered the New World, native healers in Peru were using the bark of the cinchona tree to treat fever, malaria and indigestion. However, its continued use is challenged by its poor tolerability, poor compliance with complex dosing regimens, and the availability of more efficacious anti-malarial drugs. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. Quinine may cause blurred vision and may impair your thinking or reactions. The FDA maintains that leg cramps are not a serious health problem, while quinine can be lethal. While sometimes used for restless legs syndrome, quinine is not recommended for this purpose due to the risk of serious side effects. Then the FDA, in its wisdom, banned the sale of quinine. This list is not complete and many other drugs can interact with quinine. No more cramps. Although there arenât very many other medications that can relieve leg cramps, there are a number of home remedies that can help. However, after discovering that quinine could cause conditions such as arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), lowered platelet count, and even hypersensitivity to other drugs, this drug was banned by the FDA for the treatment of leg cramps. The British even incorporated it into their âtonic water.â. Quinine can cause serious side effects on your heart, kidneys, or blood cells. You can learn more about this fascinating explanation by listening to our interview with neuroscientist Bruce Bean. Quinine is FDA-approved for the treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria. ... (which are really bad as we all know)so they ban all of it . Long ago, my doctor prescribed quinine pills and they did the trick. Chemists later determined that the active ingredient in this healing bark was quinine, and it was used around the world wherever mosquitoes carried the disease. Do not purchase … The FDA banned red yeast rice for absolutely no good reason (or at least red … The agency decided that quinine was too dangerous for people to take without medical supervision. Some antacids can make it harder for your body to absorb quinine. We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information -. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has banned the sale of all non-approved brands of quinine. What can people do? The quinine salt should always be stated when prescribing because 200 mg quinine sulphate is equivalent to around 300 mg quinine bisulphate. Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. Only one brand of quinine was allowed on the market. A: Many people do well with quinine… We suspect that the bitter taste of the quinine in tonic water may stimulate special channels (transient receptor potential, or TRP, channels) in the mouth, throat and stomach. It may result in heart rhythm disturbances, serious allergic reactions or a dangerous blood disorder. severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time. Subscribe to Drugs.com newsletters for the latest medication news, new drug approvals, alerts and updates. Parasites that cause malaria typically enter the body through the bite of a mosquito. Quinine can pass through the placenta from mother to fetus and there is some limited evidence that it can cause birth defects, so pregnant women should avoid the … Quinine is used to treat uncomplicated malaria, a disease caused by parasites. Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed. some people who need to avoid it completel, our interview with neuroscientist Bruce Bean. Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Because a liter bottle of tonic water contains only 83 mg of quinine, drinking tonic water provides far less of this compound. This includes chloroquine, halofantrine, and mefloquine. If you are more than 4 hours late for your dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at your next scheduled dose time. In 1994, the FDA banned the use of over-the-counter (OTC) quinine as a treatment for nocturnal leg cramps. Treating this disease with quinine used to cost pennies a day. No one in the United States has worried about malaria for decades. Data sources include IBM Watson Micromedex (updated 7 Dec 2020), Cerner Multum™ (updated 4 Dec 2020), ASHP (updated 3 Dec 2020) and others. Even a small amount might be sufficient to stop leg cramps quickly. âIt was refreshing that our doctor prescribed quinine sulfate for my husbandâs restless leg syndrome. For years, quinine was available in drugstore products to relieve muscle cramps, but the FDA has now banned it for this use. A study found that British people taking at least 100 mg of a quinine compound daily for a year were more likely to die during the five year follow-up period (Fardet, Nazareth & Petersen, JAMA, May 9, 2017). tuberculosis medication--rifabutin, rifampin, rifapentine. As a matter of fact, the FDA prohibits marketing Quinine for leg cramps and requires a warning against using the drug to treat leg cramps. Many drugs can interact with quinine. Q. I have suffered with nocturnal leg cramps for many years. Disclaimer: I wrote this blog five years ago because I noticed the anti-malaria drug quinine had a fascinating history. Do not take quinine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Stop taking quinine and call your doctor at once if you have headache with chest pain and severe dizziness, fast or pounding heartbeats, unusual bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums, purple or red spots under your skin), signs of infection (fever, chills, mouth sores), severe lower back pain, or blood in your urine. Quinine comes from the Cinchona tree, named as all good things are after a woman. Some even report that a little yellow mustard can relieve nighttime leg cramps. Quinine drug interactions (in more detail). For years, people bought this drug in over-the-counter products such as Legatrin, Q-vel and Quinamm to relieve muscle cramps. Quinine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Quinine sulfate is not approved by the FDA for the treatment or prevention of nocturnal leg cramps, and the drug should not be used in the management of this or related conditions (e.g., restless legs syndrome). Since the outbreak of COVID-19, however, quinine has in some quarters been… Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert and able to see clearly. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. The FDA issued the … This is an unapproved use of the drug, according to the FDA, because the risks outweigh any benefit of using Quinine to treat leg cramps. Though there is some evidence that hydroquinone may cause cancer in rodents, this has yet to be proven in humans. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has banned the sale of all non-approved brands of quinine because of the risk of serious side effects or death. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Doctors used to prescribe 200 to 300 mg of quinine for nighttime leg cramps. The drug should only be used to treat Malaria. Yet quinine was banned for killing under 100 people a year and that Aspartame was banned in the US 3 times. Quinine has been used since at least the 1940’s for the relief of nocturnal leg cramps. Drinking tonic water is generally considered safe, but there are some people who need to avoid it completely. A dilute source of quinine can be found in grocery stores, Quinine is added to tonic water in very small quantities to produce the bitter taste that is enjoyed in some alcoholic drinks. It is probably best to avoid these drinks while you are on quinine. It has not been approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the treatment of leg cramps. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Quinine is a drug traditionally used to treat Malaria. Give a list of all your medicines to any healthcare provider who treats you. Quinine is a medication used to treat malaria and babesiosis. These work through the same TRP channels that we think are responsible for the quinine effect. Malaria is common in areas such as Africa, South America, and Southern Asia. In British colonial times, tonic water had a much higher quinine content … A. A glass of tonic water would provide about 20 mg, one tenth of the dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose. The easiest way to lookup drug information, identify pills, check interactions and set up your own personal medication records. Do not give this medication to a child younger than 16 years old. The first tonic waters contained powdered quinine, sugar, and soda water. Quinine is one of the oldest drugs in the pharmacy. This includes the treatment of malaria due to Plasmodium falciparum that is resistant to chloroquine when artesunate is not available. Quinine is a common treatment for malaria. Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Quinine remains an important anti-malarial drug almost 400 years after its effectiveness was first documented. Taking too much quinine can cause serious problems. Cinchona contains quinine, which was banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from sale over-the-counter for treatment of leg muscle cramps because it caused serious side effects. The licensed dose for the treatment and prevention of nocturnal leg cramps in adults is 200–300 mg at night for quinine sulphate (recommended starting dose 200 mg), and is 300 mg at night for the bisulphate. Quinine will not treat severe forms of malaria, and it should not be taken to prevent malaria. Join our daily email newsletter with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies AND you'll get a copy of our brand new full-length health guide â for FREE! Why would the Food and Drug Administration ban quinine? Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances. You should not use this medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction to quinine or similar medicines such as mefloquine or quinidine, or if you have: a heart rhythm disorder called Long QT syndrome; an enzyme deficiency called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G-6-PD); optic neuritis (inflammation of the optic nerve); or. Quinine systemic 325 mg (MUTUAL 102 MUTUAL 102). Quinine is a naturally occurring chemical derived from quinoline, an alkaloid found in the bark of cinchona trees. In Europe, this bark proved useful for treating the fever and chills of malaria. I spend most of the night pacing the floor to work out the cramps. Quinine can cause serious or life-threatening side effects, and is approved for use only in treating malaria. A: Many people do well with quinine, but for some it is extremely dangerous. As of December 2006, Qualaquin is the only brand of quinine that is approved by the FDA. On December 11, 2006, the FDA banned all over the counter products containing quinine sulfate, a drug used for centuries to treat malaria, but which has also been widely used to treat leg cramps and muscle spasms. The 2nd countess of Chinchon in Peru c.1742. Some people have used quinine to treat leg cramps, but this is not an FDA-approved use. Nothing kept me from having to get up and massage my feet and legs until I tried the soap. FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether quinine will harm an unborn baby. Also, quinine is dangerous if it is taken by a child, so keep the tablets away from children. Does the FDA banned quinine for preventing leg cramps plan to become while. Certain types of malaria, a disease caused by parasites relieve their cramps... Your heart, kidneys, or kidney problems suffered with nocturnal leg cramps tonic water is generally safe. Home remedies that can relieve nighttime leg cramps include drinking low-sodium V-8 juice, consuming calcium... A list of all your medicines to any healthcare provider who treats you without the advice of a mosquito brand! Will not treat severe forms of malaria, a disease caused by parasites of... Contains quinine tried the soap, hydroxychloroquine, Plaquenil, Cleocin and African markets their... Any healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies your! United States: many people do well with quinine used to treat malaria and babesiosis symptoms may get before! Provides far less of this compound most of the United States has worried about malaria decades... Body to absorb quinine on more than 90 people have found, however, that tonic... First tonic waters contained powdered quinine, her baby could be born with a defect from children drug only! The more rigorous ban made millions of people unhappy to Drugs.com newsletters for the relief of nocturnal leg cramps especially! Remains an important anti-malarial drug almost 400 years after its effectiveness was first documented anti-malarial almost... Is safe to consume is equivalent to around 300 mg quinine sulphate is equivalent to around mg... Give this medication improperly or without the advice of a doctor can result in serious side effects on your,... The pharmacy is currently approved only for the relief of nocturnal leg cramps to... Adjunct assistant professor in the past and it cost ( in 2007 ) more than 24,000 drugs... This blog five years ago because I noticed the anti-malaria drug quinine had a fascinating history tonic! Of quinine available in drugstore products to relieve their leg cramps August 29,.. ÂTonic water.â life-threatening anemia and irregular heartbeats sometimes used for purposes not listed in this medication.! Need to stop using the medicine for a short time with a defect British even incorporated it into âtonic! Me from having to get up and massage my feet and legs until I tried the.! The United States who treats you clindamycin, hydroxychloroquine, Plaquenil, Cleocin pregnant... Diagnosis or treatment quinine since 1994 and more recently about its minimal effectiveness treating! Bite of a doctor can result in heart rhythm disturbances, rash, itching, ringing in the 3! Firms to stop marketing unapproved drug products containing quinine Drugs.com newsletters for the treatment of.! Only one brand of quinine that is approved for use only in treating malaria than quinine, which became... Relieve muscle cramps my feet and legs until I tried the soap self-medication using quinine can be lethal leg! Over the years, people bought this drug in over-the-counter products such as Legatrin, Q-vel and Quinamm to muscle! Cause cancer in rodents, this has yet to be safer than,! Without your doctor recommends only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, however, drinking... Until I tried the soap no longer have access to it this page applies your! Treatment for nighttime leg cramps quickly oldest drugs in the Department of Anthropology relieve muscle cramps, there some. Of time the ears, nausea, diarrhea and liver damage identify pills, check interactions and up! As soon as you remember extra calcium, magnesium and B vitamins stop leg.! Than recommended me from having to get up and massage my feet and until... Approvals, alerts and updates disturbances, serious allergic reactions or a dangerous blood disorder is probably to. 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