1 What is Qualaquin?

Brand: Qualaquin, Quinamm, Quiphile

Generic: Quinine

Qualaquin is a prescription-only antimalarial agent that treats a type of malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum. Do not use this medicine for the treatment or prevention of nocturnal leg cramps.

Though not mentioned on the label, a doctor based on his/her experience may use quinine in a kind of parasitic infection called babesiosis. It is available as:

  • Extended release tablet
  • Tablet
  • Capsule

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Qualaquin, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. Together with your doctor, you can decide whether the medication will provide you more goods than the harms.

Here are some factors to be considered before deciding to use this medicine:

  • Allergies: Inform your doctor about the allergies you have, such as to this medication, other medications, or to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
  • Pediatric: Not enough is known about its use in children below 16 years.
  • Geriatric: It may be used in elderly after assessing the risks and benefits.
  • Pregnancy: It falls under category C for all trimesters, meaning that due to lack of sufficient studies, it’s not clear if this medication is safe for use in pregnancy.
  • Breastfeeding: Using this medicine in a nursing mother is generally safe for the infant.
  • Drug Interactions: Taking two medicines together can be harmful due to possible interactions. In other cases, even if there is a possible interaction between two medicines your doctor may advise you to take them together after adjusting the dose or issuing precautions. Here is a list of the medicines which in general are not recommended to be used with this medicine. Inform your doctor if you are using any of these medicines:

        o Astemizole
        o Aurothioglucose
        o Cisapride
        o Dronedarone
        o Fluconazole
        o Ketoconazole
        o Mesoridazine
        o Nelfinavir
        o Pimozide
        o Piperaquine
        o Sparfloxacin
        o Thioridazine

Though usually not recommended, your doctor may decide, after adjusting dose or frequency of one or both medicines, to use this medicine with any of the following medicines:

        o Aluminum Carbonate
        o Amiodarone
        o Amitriptyline
        o Artemether
        o Azithromycin
        o Carbamazepine
        o Ceritinib
        o Chloroquine
        o Chlorpromazine
        o Ciprofloxacin
        o Citalopram
        o Clarithromycin
        o Clomipramine
        o Clozapine
        o Disopyramide
        o Dolasetron
        o Domperidone
        o Donepezil
        o Droperidol
        o Erythromycin
        o Fluoxetine
        o Halofantrine
        o Haloperidol
        o Hydroxychloroquine
        o Magnesium Carbonate
        o Mefloquine
        o Methadone
        o Metronidazole
        o Mifepristone
        o Nortriptyline
        o Octreotide
        o Pancuronium
        o Procainamide
        o Promethazine
        o Propafenone
        o Quinidine
        o Rifampin
        o Succinylcholine
        o Telithromycin

Rarely and only when absolutely needed, this medicine may be used with the following medicines even if using them together may put you at risk of certain side effects. In such cases, you may have to take the adjusted dose or change the frequency of intake.

        o Atorvastatin
        o Cyclosporine
        o Digoxin
        o Fosphenytoin
        o Phenobarbital
        o Phenytoin
        o Rifapentine
        o Tetracycline

  • Other Interactions: Taking your medicine together with certain foods or items such as alcohol or tobacco may cause undesirable interactions. Talk to your doctor to know if using this medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco is safe.
  • Medical Problems: Certain medical conditions might influence the effects (both positive and adverse) and action of quinine. DO NOT forget to inform your doctor about the following conditions:

        o Atrial fibrillation or flutter
        o Bradycardia
        o Heart diseases
        o Hypokalemia
        o Sick sinus syndrome (Use cautiously)
        o Blackwater fever
        o Hemolytic uremic syndrome
        o Idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura
        o Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count)
        o Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (Do not use quinine)
        o Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency
        o Severe or mild to moderate liver disease
        o Myasthenia gravis
        o Optic neuritis (Do not use quinine)
        o Hypoglycemia (Use cautiously)

3 Proper Usage

To use Qualaquin properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor.

Here are some points to watch for:

  • Use any medicine only as directed by your doctor.
  • Read the patient information leaflet carefully and follow accordingly. For any query, consult your doctor.
  • Taking quinine with food helps to minimize abdominal problems.
  • Quinine may be prescribed with other medicines.
  • Complete the course of treatment. Do not voluntarily discontinue any medicine.


For best results, follow your doctor to know what amount of medicine you should take in a single dose. The doses of a medicine can differ according to the conditions for which it is being prescribed. Remember your doses can differ. Consult your doctor if you have anything to ask.

The dose for treating malaria are:

  • Adults and teenagers 16 years and older: 648 milligrams (mg) (2 capsules) every 8 hours for a week.
  • Children younger than 16 years: Your doctor will decide the use and dose.

Missed Dose:

Take your missed dose once you remember but avoid it if it’s time to take your next dose, and follow your normal dosing schedule. Avoid taking double doses to make up for the missed dose.


  • Store in a closed container at room temperature.
  • Keep away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Do not freeze.
  • Keep away from children.
  • Discard any unused or expired medicines.

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Qualaquin, there are some precautions you must take. Your progress should be regularly monitored to determine if you are responding to the treatment or having undesirable side effects which can be checked by blood tests, if necessary. Remember:

  • If you experience irregular or rapid heartbeats along with dizziness, see your doctor immediately. Inform your doctor about your or family history of any heart rhythm disorders.
  • Symptoms like weakness, drowsiness, rapid heartbeat, sweating, increased hunger and shaking could indicate lowered blood sugar levels. If you have any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor immediately.
  • Quinine in some cases may result in a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Consult your doctor immediately if you develop a rash, itching, hoarseness, dizziness, or fainting, breathing or swallowing difficulties, or any swelling in hands, face, or mouth after you take this medicine.
  • Vision problems due to quinine may cause you some problems while driving or using fast-operating machines. Therefore, be careful.
  • Remember quinine can interfere with some lab tests.
  • Consult your doctor about using other prescription or nonprescription medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements while taking quinine.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Qualaquin.

Consult your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following side effects: 

More common:

Less common:

  • Anxiety 
  • Feeling drunk
  • Black stools 
  • Bloody urine or stools 
  • Vision problems
  • Sweating 
  • Confusion 
  • Seizures
  • Pale skin 
  • Cough 
  • Feeling drowsy
  • Increased hunger 
  • Rapid heartbeat 
  • Nervousness
  • o Agitation and sleep problems
  • Tremors 
  • Abnormal bleeding or bruising 
  • Excessive tiredness 


  • Breathing or swallowing difficulties 
  • Vision problems
  • Sweating 
  • Swollen eyes, face, or inside of the nose
  • Hearing abnormal sounds 

Seek emergency medical attention if you develop symptoms of overdose, including: 

  • Blindness or vision problems like difficulty seeing things
  • Chest pain 
  • Dizziness 
  • Diplopia (double vision) 
  • Fainting 
  • Excessive drowsiness
  • Rapid irregular heartbeats

The side effects of the medicine are not limited to the ones listed above. Call your doctor immediately if you experience any side effects that are uncommon or worry you. To report side effects to the FDA, contact at 1-800-FDA-1088.