Quinine treats malaria. Take this medication with food to minimize stomach upset.

Quinine Overview


Quinine is a prescription medication used to treat malaria. Quinine belongs to a group of drugs called antimalarials. These work by killing the organisms that cause malaria.  

This medication comes in a capsule form and is usually taken three times a day, with food.  

Common side effects of quinine include headache, nausea, sweating, and diarrhea.  

Quinine can also cause dizziness and blurred vision. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how quinine affects you.

Patient Ratings for Quinine

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What are you taking Quinine for?

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  • Other
  • Babesiosis
  • Malaria
  • Malaria, Falciparum
  • Muscle Cramp

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  • A couple weeks
  • A month or so
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Uses of Quinine

Quinine is a prescription medication used to treat malaria. Malaria is an illness that is spread by mosquitos in certain parts of the world.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.  

Quinine Brand Names

Quinine may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Quinine Drug Class

Quinine is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Quinine

Serious side effects have been reported with quinine. See the "Drug Precautions" section.

Common side effects of quinine include the following:

  • headache
  • sweating
  • flushing
  • nausea
  • ringing in your ears
  • diarrhea
  • deafness
  • hearing loss
  • dizziness
  • blurred vision
  • changes in how you see color
  • vomiting
  • stomach pain
  • blindness

This is not a complete list of quinine side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

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

Quinine FDA Warning

Quinine should not be used to treat or prevent nighttime leg cramps. Quinine has not been shown to be effective for this purpose, and may cause serious or life-threatening side effects, including severe bleeding problems, kidney damage, irregular heartbeat, and severe allergic reactions.

Your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer's patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you begin treatment with quinine and each time you refill your prescription. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.