Description: Quinine interferes with the lysosomal function or nucleic acid synthesis in the Plasmodia spp.

Quinine is used to treat malaria by killing the parasites inside the red blood cells. However, it cannot be used for prevention of malaria.

How to use quinine

  • Take medication orally every 8 hours for 3 to 7 days, or as prescribed by the physician.
  • Take with food preferably to avoid stomach upset.
  • Antacids containing aluminum or magnesium may interfere with the absorption so take Quinine 2-3 hours before or after taking antacids.
  • Strictly follow your physician’s prescription for effective treatment.
  • Mild headache
  • Flushing
  • Unusual sweating
  • Nausea
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Decreased hearing
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Temporary changes in color vision

Hypoglycemia may occur while taking Quinine especially during pregnancy.  Watch out for symptoms of low blood sugar such as sudden sweating, shaking, fast heartbeat, hunger, blurred vision, dizziness, or tingling hands/feet.  Quickly eat a candy, table sugar, or fruit juice to restore normal blood glucose level. Consult your physician.

Consult your physician if you experience any of the symptoms mentioned or allergic reaction such as rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.


Inform your physician of your medical history, especially of: previous serious side effects with quinine (such as blood problems), family/personal history of a certain enzyme problem (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency-G6PD), a certain eye nerve problem (optic neuritis), hearing problems (such as ringing in the ears), a certain nerve/muscle disease (myasthenia gravis), heart rhythm problems (such as atrial fibrillation/flutter), kidney problems, liver problems.

Avoid doing tasks that require alertness or clear vision because this drug causes dizziness and blurred vision.

Quinine may also affect the heart rhythm seen as QT prolongation. It may present as fast irregular heartbeat, dizziness and fainting.  Heart conditions, taking diuretics that could decrease your levels of potassium or magnesium increase the risk of QT prolongation.

This drug is cannot be given to pregnant and lactating women as it crosses the placenta and passes into the breast milk.



Taking Quinine with other drugs may cause side effects or may affect the activity of Quinine in the body.  These include: “blood thinners” (such as warfarin), penicillamine, cimetidine, erythromycin, ketoconazole, phenytoin, rifampin, HIV protease inhibitors (such as lopinavir, ritonavir), urinary alkalinizers such as acetazolamide/sodium bicarbonate, desipramine, digoxin, certain “statin” drugs (atorvastatin, lovastatin, simvastatin), certain anticonvulsants (carbamazepine, phenobarbital), among others.


Be alert to symptoms of overdose such as sudden vision change, confusion, severe trouble hearing, fast/irregular heartbeat, fainting, slow/shallow breathing, seizures, inability to wake up (coma).  Get emergency medical help right away.

Missed Dose: Take as soon as you remember. However, if more than 4 hours, skip the dose.  Do not double up the dose to catch up.

Storage: Store at room temperature.  Discard properly.



Available Brands

  • Rhea Quinine Sulfate [ Philusa ]

Also marketed as

  • Malarin [ Duopharma (M) Sdn Bhd ]

Related Articles


Sodium ascorbate is a mineral salt of ascorbic acid, commonly known as vitamin C. It's used as a dietary supplement [...]


Unasyn Oral is typically known as an intravenous medication. It is the combination antibiotic drug containing ampicillin and sulbactam. It's [...]


Tareg (valsartan) is primarily prescribed for the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure) and heart failure. It may be used [...]