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Quinine (By mouth)

Treats malaria.

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Quinine is used to treat malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum. Plasmodium falciparum is a parasite that gets into the red blood cells in the body and causes malaria. Quinine works by killing the parasite or preventing it from growing. This medicine may be used alone or given together with one or more medicines for malaria. Quinine should not be used to treat or prevent night time leg cramps.… Read more
Brand names include
Qualaquin, Quinamm, Quiphile
Drug classes About this
Antimalarial, Musculoskeletal Agent

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Intrarectal quinine versus intravenous or intramuscular quinine for treating Plasmodium falciparum malaria

Quinine given through the rectum may be as effective as intravenous and intramuscular quinine for treating uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria. The data reviewed also lead to the conclusion that a diluted proprietary quinine solution (made less acidic by adjustment to a pH of 4.5) given intrarectally using a syringe for two to three days has less harmful effects compared with intramuscular quinine given for the same time period. Administration of intrarectal quinine (made less acidic by adjustment to a pH of 4.5) is significantly less painful than intramuscular injection of quinine. More trials are needed for patients with severe malaria and in adults.

Initial high dose of quinine to treat severe malaria

People with severe malaria are unconscious, have difficulty breathing, may convulse, and have low blood sugar. They need treating quickly.

Quinine for muscle cramps

We reviewed the evidence about the effect of quinine on muscle cramps.

See all (35)

Summaries for consumers

Intrarectal quinine versus intravenous or intramuscular quinine for treating Plasmodium falciparum malaria

Quinine given through the rectum may be as effective as intravenous and intramuscular quinine for treating uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria. The data reviewed also lead to the conclusion that a diluted proprietary quinine solution (made less acidic by adjustment to a pH of 4.5) given intrarectally using a syringe for two to three days has less harmful effects compared with intramuscular quinine given for the same time period. Administration of intrarectal quinine (made less acidic by adjustment to a pH of 4.5) is significantly less painful than intramuscular injection of quinine. More trials are needed for patients with severe malaria and in adults.

Initial high dose of quinine to treat severe malaria

People with severe malaria are unconscious, have difficulty breathing, may convulse, and have low blood sugar. They need treating quickly.

Quinine for muscle cramps

We reviewed the evidence about the effect of quinine on muscle cramps.

See all (18)

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