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Are there any risks in taking quinine?

Quinine is used to treat malaria. It is a class of drugs called anti-malarials that kills the organisms that cause malaria. It can cause severe bleeding problems, headaches, kidney damage, and irregular heart rate and should not be used for nighttime leg cramps. It is important to let your dentist or doctor know if you are taking quinine before undergoing any dental or surgical procedures.

When used improperly, it's possible for this drug to cause serious adverse side effects, or possibly even death. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the sale of any quinine brands that are not approved. Since 2006, Qualaquin is the only brand of quinine approved for sale by the FDA.

If you have long QT syndrome, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, myasthenia gravis, or inflammation of your eye nerves, taking quinine could be damaging. Talk to your doctor about using quinine if you have heart, liver, or kidney disease, or if you have a heart rhythm problem or low potassium levels.

Quinine may pose a risk to a developing fetus or nursing baby. Talk to your doctor before taking quinine if you are pregnant or nursing.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.