Malaria Home > Side Effects of Quinine

Although most people do not experience problems while using quinine, side effects are possible. Common ones include nausea, dizziness, and headaches. Serious problems have also been known to occur with this medication. Notify your healthcare provider right away if you experience difficulty breathing, vomiting, chest pain, or any other potentially dangerous side effects.

An Introduction to Side Effects of Quinine

Just like any medicine, quinine sulfate (Qualaquin®) can cause side effects. However, not everyone who takes the medication will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider.
 
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with quinine. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)
 

Serious Quinine Side Effects

Some side effects of quinine are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:
 
  • Vomiting
  • Severe abdominal (stomach) pain
  • Severe flushing
  • Loss of hearing or vision
  • Nervousness
  • Easily bruising
  • Abnormal bleeding, such as:
     
    • Bleeding of the gums
    • Severe nose bleed
    • Blood in the urine or stool
    • Unusual brown, red, or purple spots on the skin (which could be a sign of bleeding)
 
  • Chest pain
  • Irregular heartbeat or heart palpitations (feeling your heart skip a beat or pound quickly)
  • Seizures
  • Signs of low blood sugar, such as:
     
    • Sweating
    • Weakness
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Confusion
 
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
     
    • An unexplained rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Swelling of the mouth or throat
    • Wheezing
    • Difficulty breathing.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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