This medication is used alone or with other medication to treat malaria caused by mosquito bites in countries where malaria is common. Malaria parasites can enter the body through these mosquito bites, and then live in body tissues such as red blood cells or the liver. This medication is used to kill the malaria parasites living inside red blood cells. In some cases, you may need to take a different medication (such as primaquine) to kill the malaria parasites living in other body tissues. Both drugs may be needed for a complete cure and to prevent the return of infection (relapse). Quinine belongs to a class of drugs known as antimalarials. It is not used for the prevention of malaria.The United States Centers for Disease Control provide updated guidelines and travel recommendations for the prevention and treatment of malaria in different parts of the world. Discuss the most recent information with your doctor before traveling to areas where malaria occurs.
How to use Quinine Sulfate
Read the Medication Guide and, if available, the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start taking quinine and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth, with food to decrease upset stomach, exactly as prescribed by your doctor. This medication is usually taken every 8 hours for 3 to 7 days or as directed by your doctor.
Take this medication 2 to 3 hours before or after taking antacids containing aluminum or magnesium. These products bind with quinine, preventing your body from fully absorbing the drug.
Dosage and length of treatment are based on your medical condition, country where you were infected, other medications you may be taking for malaria, and your response to treatment.
The dosage in children is also based on weight.
It is very important to continue taking this medication (and other malaria medications) exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take more or less of this drug than prescribed. Do not skip any doses. Continue to take this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished, even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Skipping doses or stopping the medication too early may make the infection more difficult to treat and result in a return of the infection.
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.
Tell your doctor if you do not start feeling better after 1-2 days of starting this medication. If your fever returns after completing this prescription, contact your doctor so that he/she can determine whether the malaria has returned.
Mild headache, flushing, unusual sweating, nausea, ringing in the ears, decreased hearing, dizziness, blurred vision, and temporary changes in color vision may occur. If any of these effects persist after your treatment is finished, or if these effects worsen while taking the medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Quinine may cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), especially during pregnancy. Symptoms of low blood sugar include sudden sweating, shaking, fast heartbeat, hunger, blurred vision, dizziness, or tingling hands/feet. If symptoms of low blood sugar occur, increase your blood sugar by eating a quick source of sugar such as table sugar, honey, or candy, or drink fruit juice or non-diet soda. Tell your doctor right away about the reaction and the use of this product.
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 do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: easy bruising/bleeding, unusual purple/brown/red spots on the skin, signs of serious infection (such as high fever, severe chills, persistent sore throat), signs of a sudden loss of red blood cells called hemolytic anemia (such as severe tiredness, brown urine, pale lips/nails/skin, rapid breathing at rest), signs of severe liver problems (such as persistent nausea/vomiting, abdominal pain, severe weakness, yellow skin/eyes, unusually dark urine), signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine).
Seek immediate medical attention if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: chest pain, severe dizziness, fainting, fast/irregular heartbeat, blindness.
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 (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.