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What Is Quinine?

Available by prescription only, quinine sulfate (Qualaquin®) is a medicine used to treat malaria. Specifically, this medication is used to treat a mild form of malaria, also called uncomplicated malaria.
Clinical studies have shown that 80 to 100 percent of people with uncomplicated malaria were free from infection after receiving quinine for seven days. They remained infection-free for the entire study period (28 days).
As an antimalarial medication, quinine works by killing the tiny parasites that cause this blood infection. It is believed that quinine prevents the bacteria from using blood glucose for energy and from making proteins and nucleic acid, which are essential for the parasites to live.
(For more information on what quinine is prescribed for, click Quinine. This article also discusses potential side effects of the drug, dosing information, and safety precautions to be aware of before beginning treatment.)
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