Health Glossary - For Everyone

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What is quinine?

Quinine is an alkaloid (nitrogenous, organic compound) which is derived from the bark of the cinchona tree, found in South America.

Quinine has been used as an anti-malaria medicine for more than three hundred years.

Quinine can't actually cure malaria, but it can help to suppress parasitic activity (from the moquito that caused it in the first place) and so reduces the life-threatening fever associated with the disease.


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Important quinine facts

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Why quinine is important

Quinine is a substance that is used to treat malaria, which is a disease that is caused by parasites. Parasites that cause malaria normally enter the body through a mosquito bite. Malaria is common in places such as South America, Africa, and Southern Asia.

If quinine causes any of the following potentially serious or life-threatening side effects, call your doctor immediately:

In addition to the side effects that quinine can cause, there are also many other drugs that should not be taken at the same time as qunine as they interact adversely and could cause serious and even life threatening effects. Discuss medication use with a medical practitioner.

The FDA has warned that they have received 665 reports of adverse events with serious outcomes associated with quinine use, including 93 deaths since 1969. The FDA has also warned consumers not to purchase quinine from the internet.


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Last reviewed: 30 September 2007 || Last updated: 14 March 2010


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More information

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NOTE: Mega doses of any type of vitamin, mineral, amino acid or herbal supplement cannot cure illnesses and in fact can be very dangerous and produce toxic side effects and interfere with medicine you are taking. Always ensure you consult your doctor before taking any type of complementary supplements.
Disclaimer: This guide is not intended to be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. For any treatment or diagnosis of illness, please see your doctor.


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