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General Information
What should I know before taking this drug
Dosage information
Adverse reactions
Additional information if any
Mosgard (Cipla)
Rez-q (Shreya) 
Quinine is a prescription drug available from your pharmacy store only with the prescription of a qualified medical practitioner. 
Quinine pronounced as:KWEYE-nine 
Quinine is an anti infective / anti malarial drug. 
Quinine is used in the treatment of following conditions
  • Malaria
  • Nocturnal cramps
  • Babesiosis

How to use quinine

Take Quinine exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take oral dose with or immediately after meal with a full glass (8 ounces) of water to avoid gastric upset. It should not be chewed as it is bitter in taste.

Do not skip any doses. Continue to take it even when you feel better. You must complete the entire course of medication. If you don't, the infection will not clear completely and in due course may cause recurrence of malaria with resistant strains which are difficult to treat.

If you are taking antacid then take it 1 hr before taking quinine medication as it interferer with the absorption of the drug.
In case of severe complicated malaria it is given intravenously as slow infusion under the supervision of your physician.
In spite of taking the medication regularly you can still contract the disease. If you get fever consult your physician immediately.
  • Always remember to inform your health expert if you are currently taking any prescription like anticoagulants, beta blockers, anti arrhythmic drugs, anti depressants, antacids like cimetidine, digoxin, other antimalarials etc or OTC medication as quinine is known to interact with wide range of drugs.
  • Inform your doctor if you have following medical conditions as Quinine should be used cautiously in the below mentioned conditions
    1. Heart problems
    2. Glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency
    3. liver and kidney disease
    4. Myasthenia gravis
    5. Black water fever
    6. visual disturbances( optic neuritis)
  • Do inform your doctor if you are a diabetic and using oral hypoglycaemic drugs as quinine exacerbates hypoglycaemia due to this drug.
  • If you are going for an operation, including minor surgery or dental work, let your doctor or surgeon know that you are being treated with Quinine. Quinine may interact with some anaesthetic drugs used during surgery.
Do not quinine if you are suffering from anemia or bleeding problems due to low platelet count.
Old people:
Pregnant woman: Quinine belongs to FDA pregnancy category X. This means that quinine will cause birth defects if used during pregnancy. The use of this drug in pregnancy clearly outweighs any possible benefit. Do not use quinine if you are pregnant or are planning for conception.
Lactating women: quinine passes into breast milk and harm nursing baby. Do not use quinine if you are breastfeeding your child.
Quinine may cause dizziness, if you feel dizzy do not drive or take part in activity in which you need to be alert.
Avoid taking alcohol. 
It is available in the form tablet, suspension and injection; your doctor will prescribe depending upon the severity of the disease. 
Use as directed by your physician, your physician prescribes depending on the severity of disease.
Use the complete course of medication as prescribed by your physician even though you feel better after one or two days of usage of medication. 
If it is almost the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at same time to cover up the missed dose. 
In case of overdose contact your nearest poison control centre or emergency medical centre for immediate care by physician. 
The most common side effects that you may experience on taking Quinine medication are
  • Rashes and itching
  • headache
  • ringing sensation in ears, tinnitus
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Palpitations
  • Psychiatrics symptoms like depression, anxiety
Quinine when taken in large doses for long time causes a group of symptoms collectively know as CINCHONISM which includes headache , mental confusion , vertigo, visual and hearing disturbances, diarrhoea, flushing, breathing difficulty weakness etc. Alert your physician if you experience these symptoms when on quinine medication. These symptoms subside when the medication is stopped as advised by your physician. 
Consult you doctor immediately if you experience the following adverse effects
  • Allergic reaction like swollen lips, shortness of breath, constricting sensation in the throat etc
  • Unusually dark colored urine
  • Decrease in quantity of urine
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
Store quinine at room temp (15 – 30 degrees C). Avoid excessive heat, moisture or direct sunlight, never store in the bathroom.
Keep it out of reach of children. Make sure that any left over portion is disposed off safely. 
Inform your doctor if you are planning to undergo any surgery or dental procedures as quinine may interact with the anaesthetic drug.
If you are diabetic the keep a close watch on your sugar levels as quinine causes hypoglycaemia. In case of hypoglycaemic episodes inform your physician.
When quinine is used for prolonged period it is important to consult your physician for thorough check up and laboratory test. (Complete blood picture, liver functions test) to look for side effects.
It is imp to read manufacturing packaging instruction carefully if available and always do not hesitate to consult pharmacist or physician for any information.
Written by: Healthplus24 team
Date last updated: May 07, 2012

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