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What are quinine pills used for?

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Quick Answer

According to Drugs.com and WebMD, quinine is a medicine mainly used to treat simple forms of malaria by killing the infectious parasites living inside the red blood cells. Other pharmaceuticals such as primaquine are needed along with quinine in order to kill off parasites found in other parts of the body and to prevent relapse. Quinine should not be used for malaria prevention.

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Drugs.com and WebMD further add that quinine has additional uses such as treating leg cramps. However, improper use of this medicine causes serious health issues and even death. Quinine should be taken with food if it causes an upset stomach, and it should not be ingested less than two or three hours before and after having taken any antacids containing magnesium or aluminum.

Possible side effects include headache, changes in sight such as blurred vision or altered color vision, indigestion, vomiting, stomach pain, dizziness, vertigo, tinnitus or a sensation of sweating and flushing. Patients are advised to call their doctor immediately if they have an allergic reaction or if experiencing symptoms such as severe headache, tachycardia, flu symptoms, vision and hearing problems, changes of color in the stool and urine, sudden weakness or numbness, or severe skin conditions and pain.

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