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What You Need to Know About Quinine Sulfate for Treatment of Uncomplicated PF Malaria

News April 26, 2019 | CanadaOnlineHealth

Other names: Quinine sulfate / Quinine sulfate/ Qualaquin

Qualaquin, also known by its generic name quinine sulfate, is a prescription medication used in the treatment of a type of malaria called uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria.   Malaria is common in South Asia, South America and in Africa, and caused by parasites transmitted into the body by mosquito bites.

It’s important to note that quinine is not used to prevent malaria nor is it used to treat other forms of malaria. 

Because quinine can have serious side effects including severe lower back pain, unusual bruising or bleeding (bleeding gums, spots under the skin), tinnitus, visual disturbances, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), headache, dizziness, and fast heartbeat, it is important to only use this medication on the advice of a doctor and to purchase it from safe and trusted sources.

Another safety concern with this medication is drug interactions.  There are numerous drugs that can interact with quinine, so speak to your doctor and pharmacist about what prescriptions, non-prescription and herbal supplements you are taking.  A few of the medications that interact with quinine include certain cholesterol-lowering medications, antifungal medications, anti-nausea medications, seizure medication, stomach acid reducers, heart medications, cancer medications, and HIV/AIDS medications…  The list is quite extensive so please check with your pharmacist.    

Quinine must be taken exactly as prescribed, not in larger or smaller doses and not for longer than recommended by your doctor.  This medication should also be taken for the full prescribed length it was prescribed for, even though symptoms may improve before your medication has run out.

[su_box title="Regarding Leg Cramps:" box_color="#e0f1fa" title_color="#303030" radius="7"] An article in the CMAJ indicates that quinine sulfate at a dose of 200–300 mg at night has been used for many years to treat nocturnal leg cramps. Usually idiopathic, these muscle cramps are common, particularly in older patients.  Studies have determined this medication is a modestly effective treatment for leg cramps.  However, due to safety concerns (mentioned above), quinine is not recommended for routine use and limited to a four-week trial only after other treatable causes have been ruled out.  Patients should try using non-drug (such as massage before bed) or less toxic drug therapies.  The article goes on to say that the “FDA has noted an unfavorable risk-benefit ratio for quinine when used for leg cramps.”  Read the full article:   [/su_box]

Qualaquin for  Malaria treatment

Adult Dose

Qualaquin comes in a 324 mg capsule.

For the treatment of uncomplicated P. Falciparum malaria, the usual dose is two 324 mg capsules every 8 hours for 3 days or 7 days.

Child Dose

For children, the dose depends on the weight of the child.


If you have questions about any of these prescription medications or any other medication, please contact our team at Canada Online Health by calling toll free 1-800-399-DRUG (3784). One of our discreet pharmacy representatives will be happy to answer your questions.

This article contains medical information provided to help you better understand this particular medical condition or process, and may contain information about medication often used as part of a treatment plan prescribed by a doctor.  It is not intended to be used as either a diagnosis or recommendation for treatment of your particular medical situation.  If you are unwell, concerned about your physical or mental state, or are experiencing symptoms you should speak with your doctor or primary health care provider. If you are in medical distress please contact emergency services (such as 911).

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