Quinine is used to treat malaria and babesiosis. This includes Malaria caused by Plasmodium
falciparum, resistant to chloroquine when Artesunate is not available. In some cases, it also
used to treat restless legs syndrome, but is not recommended due to the risk of serious side
effects. Various Malaria strains have developed resistance to quinine in certain areas of the
world. It is also the ingredient that gives tonic water its bitter taste.
Quinine is sold under the brand name Qualaquin among others. It is a medicine with worldwide
applications, so it is made and sold to the government for mass distribution programs and for
retail sale around the world by several manufacturers.
Isolated first in the 1802s, Quinine is extracted from the bark of a cinchona tree, native to Peru.
Bark extracts had been used to treat malaria since at least 1632 and it was introduced to Spain
as early as 1636 by Jesuit missionaries from the New World.
DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION
Quinine is sold as tablets and injectable forms and can be taken by mouth or intravenously in
the 324 mg strength for both children and adults. For treating Uncomplicated (P. falciparum)
Malaria, the recommended adult dose is 648 mg, taken orally every 8 hour, for 7 days. For
Chloroquine-Resistant (P. falciparum) caused Malaria, the dose is 648 mg, taken orally every 8
hours for 3-7 days, and Chloroquine-Resistant (P. vivax) Malaria, the dose is 648 mg orally,
given every 8 hours for 3-7 days.
For children, the pediatric Dosages dose for Uncomplicated (P. falciparum), is 30 mg per kilo per
day, orally divided into 3 doses a daily, for 3-7 days, for treating, Chloroquine-Resistant (P.
falciparum) malaria, the dose is 30 mg per kilo per day, orally divided into 3 doses a daily with
concomitant doxycycline, tetracycline or clindamycin. For treating Chloroquine-Resistant (P.
vivax) malaria, the pediatric dose is 30 mg per kilo per day, orally divided into 3 doses a daily,
with concomitant doxycycline and oral primaquine.
In the treatment of Babesiosis, the adult Dosage is 648 mg orally every 8 hours, with
concomitant orally or intravenously clindamycin and the Pediatric Dosage is 25 mg per kilo per
day, orally divided into three days, daily for 7 days, with concomitant oral clindamycin
The Price of Quinine
Quinine is primarily sold in Asia and Africa, and in countries with a high incidence of malaria. In
India, the 300mg Injection cost USD 0.25, and a supply of 10, 300 tablets cost USD 7.7.
How does Quinine work?
Quinine has antimalarial properties and has been proven effective in the treatment of
uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Quinine interferes with the parasite's ability to
digest hemoglobin and also inhibits the spontaneous formation of hemozoin or malaria
pigment. This is a toxic product of the digestion of hemoglobin by parasites. Plasmodium
falciparum parasite gets into the red blood cells and causes malaria. Quinine actions kill the
parasite or prevent it from growing.
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