Posted by: LABGIRL | 2011-11-28


Hi, I get terrible cramps in my legs during the night. My doctor has prescribed Quinine 300 mg (1 each day at 4:00, but not on Saturdays and Sundays). It is working very well. I heard that this is tablets taken for Malaria as well?
My question is, is it safe? Can I take it for long periods?

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Our expert says:
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Hi Labgirl

Quinine is indeed effective in treating nocturnal leg cramps.

However, the latest drug safety updates recommends that Quinine should not be considered a routine treatment for nocturnal leg cramps, and that it should only be considered when cramps cause regular disruption of sleep. Before use for nocturnal leg cramps, the risks should be carefully considered relative to the potential benefits.

After an initial trial of 4 weeks, treatment should be stopped if there is no benefit. If it is prescribed for long-term use, it is suggested that treatment should be interrupted approximately every 3 months to reassess the medications benefit. Also: In patients taking quinine long term, a trial discontinuation may be considered to evaluate if treatment is still needed.

Quinine tablets are generally well tolerated at the doses used for treatment of leg cramps. However, adverse events may include tinnitus, impaired hearing, headache, nausea, disturbed vision, confusion, flushing, and abdominal pain. Treatment should be stopped if these occur.

With long-term use it is furthermore important to stop treatment and consult a physician if signs of thrombocytopenia occur, such as unexplained petechiae, bruising, or bleeding.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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