Malaria is an infectious disease caused by the malarial parasite. And one of the common antimalarial drugs approved for its treatment is Quinine. This article discusses the possible side effects of this drug.
Quinine is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drug, that is used for treating a common medical condition known as malaria. It is a product that is obtained from the processing the bark of the chichona tree. Commercial, it is put to use as a tonic water. Although there are other kinds of antimalarial drugs available, quinine is still regarded to be the most effective.
This is due to the fact that the malarial parasite is somewhat slow to develop a resistance against this agent. And because of this, it is also used as an effective remedy to treat drug-resistant malaria. However, as effective the substance is, it also has its own share of side effects, which sometimes turn to be severe. But it is also true that any kind of medicine has one or the other side effect associated with its use.
Side Effects Caused by Quinine
The most important side effect to be watched out is quinine allergy, that gives rise to several kinds of reactions in the body. Most people have come up with the complaint that they experience side effects like rash, itchiness, in different areas of the body, swelling of mouth and lips, swollen tongue and hoarseness in the voice. Some may even feel tightness in the chest, after using the drug. These side effects may be accompanied by eye problems like blurred vision, double vision, increased sensitivity to light and other types of abnormal changes in the vision. Vomiting, nausea, and digestive problem like diarrhea may also crop up.
Besides the above side effects, tarry stool, chest pain, confusion, presence of blood in the urine, hearing problem, and tinnitus could also occur. While, these are known to be the mild symptoms, there are other severe ones which may affect the user. These have been listed as follows:
- Urine production becomes less
- Feeling of faintness
- Trouble in starting urination
- Irregular pulse
- Sore throat
- Poor appetite
- Symptoms of low blood sugar may also show up
- Profuse perspiration
- Abnormal changes in the mood
- Weakness in muscles
- Formation of blisters in the skin
- Redness of the skin
- The skin may be felt as peeling away
- Stomach pain (of a severe degree, and may stay for a long time)
- Problems with forming speech
- Symptoms of jaundice (yellow discoloration of the skin and the whites of the eyes)
Note that Qualaquin is the only brand of quinine that is approved by the FDA. The ones which have not been approved are known to cause side effects that may even prove fatal to the user. Also, quinine has a bad reputation to react with various drugs. This is the reason why, patients must always inform their doctor about any medicines that they might be taking, before administering quinine. Expecting and breast-feeding mothers must never take this drug, without prior consultation from a professional.
And as advised by doctors, in order to avoid all such severe side effects, quinine must not be bought over the Internet or without prescription. Drugs are safe when prescribed and used in the right amount of dosage.