Sulfate is one of the oldest known antimalarial drugs, with its use
dating back hundreds of years. More recently it has additionally
been used to treat nighttime leg cramps, though its use for this
purpose is controversial in some parts of the world.
There is no certain cure for malaria, which is caused by a parasite
transmitted to humans by mosquito bites. Even with treatment
malaria may result in severe illness and death. Every effort should
be made to take preventative measures against mosquito bites when
traveling in an area with malaria, including use of protective
clothing, mosquito netting, and mosquito repellents.
Though malaria is most commonly associated with sub-Saharan Africa,
it is also found in parts of South America and Asia.
Malaria Treatment with Quinine Sulfate:
To treat malaria, Quinine Sulfate tablets are usually taken every 8
hours for up to 7 days. Dosage may vary depending on patient
weight, age and other conditions, but on average 600 mg is
considered one dose.
Patients taking any form of quinine should avoid taking antacids
containing aluminum or magnesium for 3 hours before or after
quinine use, as this will considerably reduce the medication's
This medication should be taken with food to prevent nausea or
vomiting. If vomiting does occur within 30 minutes of taking
quinine, the dose should be retaken. Between 30 to 60 minutes, a
half dose should be taken.
Quinine Sulfate is rarely used as a preventative measure against
contracting malaria. Products such as Malarone
are frequently taken prior
to and during trips into malaria zones, providing further
protection. Preventative treatments are not 100% effective,
however, and there is still a chance of becoming ill with malaria.
Mixing antimalarials can be very dangerous -- be sure physicians
treating malaria are aware of any other antimalarials recently
Pregnant women are particularly prone to serious illness from
malaria. Quinine Sulfate is widely considered the safest
antimalarial treatment available for treating malaria in pregnant
Quinine Sulfate and Nighttime Leg Cramps:
As mentioned above, Quinine Sulfate use to treat nighttime leg
cramps is controversial in some areas. In the USA, for example, the
FDA has banned manufacture and sale of the product for this use,
claiming risk of severe side effects outweigh any benefits.
In other parts of the world, however, it is commonly used to treat
leg cramping and for many patients is the most effective and
affordable solution available.
To treat nighttime leg cramps, 200 to 300 mg of Quinine Sulfate is
taken immediately before bed. It may be taken as tablets or mixed
with fluids, but it is extremely bitter and many patients find it
difficult to drink. Either way it begins working quickly, enabling
patients to sleep comfortably.
Clients are responsible for understanding and complying with
local laws concerning Quinine Sulfate use.
Patients with conditions causing heart arrythmia should not use
Sometimes allergic reactions will develop in individuals using
quinine over time, even if no reaction occurred at the start of
use. Symptoms of allergic reaction include:
- Hives, rash or itching
- Swelling of lips, eyes and tongue
- Swelling of throat, difficulty breathing
In case of allergic reaction, stop taking Quinine Sulfate and speak
with a physician about alternative treatments.
There are a number of side effects associated with quinine use,
ranging from mild to potentially life-threatening. The more
dangerous side effects include pulmonary edema, renal failure, and
disrupted heart rhythm.
Quinine Sulfate is also known to interact with certain other
prescription and non-prescription medications.
Before using Quinine Sulfate, discuss possible risks with a
doctor and read the insert included with the product for the most
Quinine Sulfate overdose can be very dangerous and warrants
immediate medical attention.