Health Guide

Quinine (By mouth)

Quinine (KWYE-nine)

Treats malaria.

Brand Name(s):


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to quinine, mefloquine (Lariam®), or a heart medicine called quinidine (Quinaglute®, Quinidex®). Do not use this medicine if you have glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency, a prolonged QT interval (a heart rhythm problem), myasthenia gravis (severe muscle weakness), or optic neuritis (nerve swelling in the eye). Do not use this medicine if you had kidney, blood, or blood clotting disorders caused by quinine.

How to Use This Medicine:

Capsule, Tablet, Long Acting Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
  • Quinine may be taken with food or milk if it upsets your stomach.
  • Take all of the medicine in your prescription to clear up your infection, even if you feel better after the first few doses.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose. If it has been more than 4 hours since you missed a dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Do not use this medicine with rifampin (Rifadin®, Rimactane®).
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are taking acetazolamide (Diamox®), aminophylline (Norphyl®), debrisoquine (Declinax®), desipramine (Norpramin®), dextromethorphan (Benylin®), digoxin (Digitek®, Lanoxin®), ketoconazole (Nizoral®), metoprolol (Lopressor®), paroxetine (Paxil®), ritonavir (Norvir®), sodium bicarbonate, tetracycline (Sumycin®), theophylline (Theo-Dur®), or troleandomycin (Tao®). Tell your doctor if you are also using medicines that may change the heart rhythm such as astemizole (Hismanal®), cisapride (Propulsid®), erythromycin (Ery-Tab®), halofantrine (Halfan®), mefloquine (Lariam®), pimozide (Orap®), or terfenadine (Seldane®).
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using medicine for heart rhythm problems (such as amiodarone, disopyramide, dofetilide, flecainide, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol, verapamil, Betapace®, Cordarone®, Norpace®, Quinaglute®, Tambocor®,Tikosyn®), medicines to lower cholesterol (such as atorvastatin, lovastatin, simvastatin, Lipitor®, Mevacor®, Zocor®), a blood thinner (such as heparin, warfarin, Coumadin®, Jantoven®), medicine for seizures (such as carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, Dilantin®, Tegretol®), stomach medicines (such as cimetidine, ranitidine, Tagamet®, Zantac®), or an antacid that contains aluminum or magnesium (such as Gaviscon®, Maalox®, Milk of Magnesia, Mylanta®, Pepcid® Complete, Rolaids®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease, heart rhythm problems, or a history of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) or low potassium in the blood.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you have any changes to your heart rhythm. You might feel faint, dizzy, or lightheaded, or you might have a fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat. Make sure your doctor knows if you or anyone in your family has ever had a heart rhythm problem (such as QT prolongation, a slow heartbeat, or atrial fibrillation).
  • Do not use this medicine to treat or prevent leg cramps.
  • This medicine lowers the number of blood cells (platelets) in your body. Stop taking this medicine and tell your doctor right away if you have unusual bleeding or bruising. These may be signs of a serious blood problem.
  • Quinine may cause severe low blood sugar. Tell your doctor right away if you faint, or have shaking, trembling, sweating, a fast or pounding heartbeat, lightheadedness, hunger, or confusion.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash
  • Blurred vision, loss of vision, changes in how you see color
  • Chest pain, trouble breathing, increased sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Dark urine, decrease in how much or how often you urinate
  • Fainting, dizziness, lightheadedness
  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, body aches
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, severe itching, or bleeding from your gums or nose
  • Pinpoint red or purple spots under your skin
  • Severe stomach cramps
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness
  • Warmth or redness in your face, neck, arms, or upper chest

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Headache
  • Ringing in your ears, hearing loss
  • Upset stomach

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.

All rights reserved