Quinine is one the drugs which have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and it is commonly used for the treatment of malaria. Commercially it is used in the form of tonic water and it gets obtained by processing the chichona tree bark. Quinine is considered to be the most efficient drug for the treatment of malaria, even though there are other medications available on the market as well. It slows down the development of resistance of the harmful malarial parasite. In spite of all that, quinine can still be associated with certain types of side effects, as is the case with most types of medicaments.
Side Effects of Quinine
One of the most important side effects of quinine is quinine allergy which is known for causing a wide array of complications in the human body. These complications usually include tightness in the chest, hoarseness in the voice, swollen tongue, swelling of the lips, swelling of the mouth, itchiness and skin rash. Other common side effects of quinine include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abnormal changes in the vision, increased sensitivity to light, double vision and blurred vision. Other mild side effects of quinine may or may not include tinnitus, hearing problems, blood in the urine, confusion, chest pain and tarry stools. Quinine may also sometimes be associated with certain severe side effects such as cold, problems with forming speech, severe stomach pain, lightheadedness, dizziness, peeling sensations in the skin, redness of the skin, formation of blisters, weakness of muscles, abnormal changes in the mood, intense perspiration, headaches, tremors, symptoms of low blood sugar, poor appetite, sore throat, fever, chills, fatigue, irregular pulse, yellow discoloration of the skin and the whites of the eyes, trouble in starting urination, faintness and a decreased urine production. These side effects may be associated with quinine in the form of tonic water, but also in several other forms. The aforementioned may or may not occur in every person treated with quinine. The good news is that there are certain measures which can be taken in order to reduce the risk of any unwanted side effects.
One should know that the only brand of quinine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is known by the name of Qualaquin. So, all other brands of quinine should be avoided. Quinine may also interact with other drugs and medicaments. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should steer clear of quinine in any form.