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Quinine may cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), especially during pregnancy. Symptoms of low blood sugar include sudden sweating, shaking, fast heartbeat, hunger, blurred vision, dizziness, or tingling hands/feet. If symptoms of low blood sugar occur, increase your blood sugar by eating a quick source of sugar such as table sugar, honey, or candy, or drink fruit juice or non-diet soda. Tell your doctor immediately about the reaction and the use of this product.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: easy bruising/bleeding, unusual purple/brown/red spots on the skin, signs of serious infection (such as high fever, severe chills, persistent sore throat), signs of a sudden loss of red blood cells called hemolytic anemia (such as severe tiredness, brown urine, pale lips/nails/skin, rapid breathing at rest), signs of severe liver problems (such as persistent nausea/vomiting, abdominal pain, severe weakness, yellow skin/eyes, unusually dark urine), change in the amount of urine.
Seek immediate medical attention if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: chest pain, severe dizziness, fainting, fast/irregular heartbeat, blindness.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the Qualaquin (quinine sulfate capsules) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects
PRECAUTIONS: Before taking quinine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to quinidine or mefloquine; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: previous serious side effects with quinine (such as blood problems), family/personal history of a certain enzyme problem (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency-G6PD), a certain eye nerve problem (optic neuritis), hearing problems (such as ringing in the ears), a certain nerve/muscle disease (myasthenia gravis), heart rhythm problems (such as atrial fibrillation/flutter), kidney problems, liver problems.
This drug may make you dizzy or cause blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Quinine may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation). QT prolongation can infrequently result in serious (rarely fatal) fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting) that need medical attention right away.
The risk of QT prolongation may be increased if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that may cause QT prolongation. Before using quinine, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take and if you have any of the following conditions: certain heart problems (heart failure, slow heartbeat, QT prolongation in the EKG), family history of certain heart problems (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death).
Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood may also increase your risk of QT prolongation. This risk may increase if you use certain drugs (such as diuretics/"water pills") or if you have conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Talk to your doctor about using quinine safely.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially QT prolongation (see above).
This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. Consult your doctor for more details.
This drug passes into breast milk. However, this drug is unlikely to harm some nursing infants. Your doctor will test your infant for a certain enzyme deficiency (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency-G6PD) before you breast-feed. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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