Chinin Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Food Interaction and all others data.

Chinin is a cinchona alkaloid and a 4-methanolquinoline. It rapidly acts on blood schizontocide by interfering with lysosomal function or nucleic acid synthesis in the Plasmodia spp. It has no activity against exoerythrocytic forms.

Chinin is used parenterally to treat life-threatening infections caused by chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Chinin acts as a blood schizonticide although it also has gametocytocidal activity against P. vivax and P. malariae. Because it is a weak base, it is concentrated in the food vacuoles of P. falciparum. It is thought to act by inhibiting heme polymerase, thereby allowing accumulation of its cytotoxic substrate, heme. As a schizonticidal drug, it is less effective and more toxic than chloroquine. However, it has a special place in the management of severe falciparum malaria in areas with known resistance to chloroquine.

Trade Name Chinin
Availability Prescription only
Generic Quinine
Quinine Other Names (8S,9R)-quinine, 6'-Methoxycinchonidine, Chinin, Chinine, Chininum, Quinina, Quinine
Related Drugs doxycycline, clindamycin, hydroxychloroquine, Plaquenil, Cleocin
Formula C20H24N2O2
Weight Average: 324.4168
Monoisotopic: 324.183778022
Protein binding

Approximately 70%

Groups Approved
Therapeutic Class Anti-malarial drugs
Available Country
Last Updated: September 19, 2023 at 7:00 am


Chinin Sulfate, is an antimalarial drug used only for treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Chinin sulfate has been shown to be effective in geographical regions where resistance to chloroquine has been documented

Chinin Sulfate oral capsules are not approved for:

  • Treatment of severe or complicated P. falciparum malaria.
  • Prevention of malaria.
  • Treatment or prevention of nocturnal leg cramps

Chinin Dihydrochloride is used for the acute treatment of malaria. It may also be used in the treatment of Babesiosis in conjunction with clindamycin.

Chinin is also used to associated treatment for these conditions: Malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum

How Chinin works

The theorized mechanism of action for quinine and related anti-malarial drugs is that these drugs are toxic to the malaria parasite. Specifically, the drugs interfere with the parasite's ability to break down and digest hemoglobin. Consequently, the parasite starves and/or builds up toxic levels of partially degraded hemoglobin in itself.


Chinin dosage


  • Adult: Initially, 20 mg/kg to max 1.4 g over 4 hr with maintenance infusion started after 8 hr. Maintenance infusions: 10 mg/kg to max 700 mg over 4 hr 8 hrly. Loading dose should not be given if patient has received quinine, quinidine, halofantrine or mefloquine during the previous 24 hr.
  • Child:≤5 mg/kg/hr by slow IV infusion.


  • Adult: 648 mg given every 8 hr for 7 days.
  • Child: ≥8 yr10 mg/kg 8 hrly for 7 days.

Should be taken with food. Take with food to minimise GI discomfort.


Dilute in NaCl 0.9% to a concentration of diHCl 60-100 mg/mL.

Side Effects

Headache, nausea, disturbed vision, impaired hearing, tinnitus, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, vertigo; flushing skin with intense pruritus, urticaria; fever, dyspnoea, agranulocytosis, palpitations, rashes; myalgia, muscle weakness, asthma, asthenia, disorientation, angioedema; haemoglobinuria; hypoprothrombinaemia, hypoglycaemia, hypotension, renal failure.


Chinin is a documented causative agent of drug induced thrombocytopenia (DIT). Thrombocytopenia is a low amount of platelets in the blood. Chinin induces production of antibodies against glycoprotein (GP) Ib-IX complex in the majority of cases of DIT, or more rarely, the platelet-glycoprotein complex GPIIb-IIIa. Increased antibodies against these complexes increases platelet clearance, leading to the observed thrombocytopenia.


Patients with cardiac conduction defects, heart block or AF. Pregnancy and lactation.


Reduced renal clearance of amantadine. Reduced clearance with cimetidine. Increased anticoagulant effect of warfarin and other anticoagulants. Reduced plasma levels of ciclosporin. Increased plasma levels of digoxin. Increased risk of myopathy and rhabdomyolysis with atorvastatin. May enhance hypoglycaemic effects of oral antidiabetics.

Food Interaction

  • Take with food. Food reduces irritation.

[Minor] Coadministration with grapefruit juice does not appear to affect the pharmacokinetics of quinine in a clinically relevant manner.

Although grapefruit juice is an inhibitor of CYP450 3A4 and quinine is metabolized by this pathway to its major metabolite, 3-hydroxyquinine, a study of ten healthy volunteers found no significant differences in quinine peak plasma concentration (Cmax), time to reach Cmax (Tmax), terminal elimination half-life, systemic exposure (AUC), or apparent oral clearance (Cl

Relative to the control period, the apparent renal clearance of quinine was markedly increased by 81% during treatment with half-strength grapefruit juice.

However, since renal clearance accounts for approximately 6% of the total clearance of quinine, this change would likely have minimal clinical impact.

The lack of a significant interaction is probably due to the fact that grapefruit juice primarily inhibits intestinal rather than hepatic CYP450 3A4, and quinine is not known to undergo significant presystemic metabolism as evidenced by its relatively high oral bioavailability (76% to 88%).

Nevertheless, excessive consumption of grapefruit juice and tonic water (which contains quinine) was suspected as the cause of torsade de pointes arrhythmia in a patient with a history of asymptomatic long QT syndrome.

Treatment with magnesium sulfate and metoprolol had no effect, but the arrhythmia resolved spontaneously 48 hours after discontinuation of the drinks.

Based on current data, moderate grapefruit juice consumption is probably safe for the majority of patients taking quinine.

Volume of Distribution

  • 1.43 ± 0.18 L/kg [Healthy Pediatric Controls]
  • 0.87 ± 0.12 L/kg [P. falciparum Malaria Pediatric Patients]
  • 2.5 to 7.1 L/kg [healthy subjects who received a single oral 600 mg dose]

Elimination Route

76 - 88%

Half Life

Approximately 18 hours


  • 0.17 L/h/kg [healthy]
  • 0.09 L/h/kg [patients with uncomplicated malaria]
  • 18.4 L/h [healthy adult subjects with administration of multiple-dose activated charcoal]
  • 11.8 L/h [healthy adult subjects without administration of multiple-dose activated charcoal]
  • Oral cl=0.06 L/h/kg [elderly subjects]

Elimination Route

Chinin is eliminated primarily via hepatic biotransformation. Approximately 20% of quinine is excreted unchanged in urine.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding use

Pregnancy Category C. Either studies in animals have revealed adverse effects on the foetus (teratogenic or embryocidal or other) and there are no controlled studies in women or studies in women and animals are not available. Drugs should be given only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the foetus.


Hypersensitivity to quinine, mefloquine or quinidine. Patients with nocturnal leg cramps; prolonged QT interval, tinnitus or optic neuritis, myasthenia gravis, G6PD deficiency, haemolysis and who had suffered from blackwater fever. Concomitant use with ritonavir, mefloquine, rifampicin, class IA and class III antiarrhythmic agents, neuromuscular blocking agents, other drugs known to cause QT prolongation, and Al- and/or Mg-containing antacids.

Special Warning

Renal Impairment:

  • Oral:Severe: Initially, 648 mg followed after 12 hr by maintenance doses of 324 mg 12 hrly.
  • Intravenous: Severe: Reduce maintenance dose to 5-7 mg/kg of quinine salt 8 hrly.

Hepatic Impairment:

  • Mild to moderate: No dosage adjustment needed.
  • Intravenous: Severe: Reduce maintenance dose to 5-7 mg/kg of quinine salt 8 hrly.

Acute Overdose

Symptoms: GI effects, CNS disturbances, oculotoxicity, cardiotoxicity,; tinnitus, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, vertigo, pulmonary oedema, hypotension, sweating, flushing, nausea, vomiting, headache, slightly disturbed vision, deafness, vasodilatation and adult resp distress syndrome.

Management: Administer multiple dose of activated charcoal within 1 hr or perform gastric lavage. Symptomatic (e.g. maintaining BP, respiration and renal function, treating arrhythmias) and supportive treatment.

Storage Condition

Store between 20-25° C. Protect from light.

Innovators Monograph

You find simplified version here Chinin

Chinin contains Quinine see full prescribing information from innovator Chinin Monograph, Chinin MSDS, Chinin FDA label


What is Chinin used for?

Chinin is used to treat malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum. Plasmodium falciparum is a parasite that gets into the red blood cells in the body and causes malaria.

How safe is Chinin?

Experts consider Chinin safe to consume in small doses.The FDA also specify that manufacturers must place Chinin on the label for consumers to easily see.

How does Chinin work?

Chinin works by killing the parasite or preventing it from growing.

What are the common side effects of Chinin?

Common side effects of Chinin are include:

  • nausea.
  • restlessness.
  • difficulty hearing or ringing in the ears.
  • confusion.
  • nervousness.

Is Chinin safe during pregnancy?

You should not avoid taking Chinin  because you are pregnant. The risk of harm to you and your baby from malaria is likely to be far greater than any possible risk from taking quinine. There is no convincing scientific evidence that Chinin is harmful to an unborn baby.

Is Chinin safe during breastfeeding?

Because of the low levels of Chinin in breastmilk, amounts ingested by the infant are small and would not be expected to cause any adverse effects in breastfed infants. The dosage in milk is far below those required to treat an infant for malaria.

Can I drive after taking Chinin?

Chinin may cause blurred vision and may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert and able to see clearly. Do not use to treat any condition that has not been checked by your doctor.

When should be best taken of Chinin?

Chinin usually is taken with food three times a day (every 8 hours) for 3 to 7 days. Take Chinin at around the same times every day.

How much Chinin can I take daily?

Adults and children 16 years of age and older 648 milligrams (mg) (2 capsules) every 8 hours for 7 days. Children younger than 16 years of age Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

How long does it take for Chinin tablets to work?

A reduction in frequency of leg cramps may take up to 4 weeks to become apparent. Patients should be monitored closely during the early stages of treatment for adverse effects. After an initial trial of 4 weeks, treatment should be stopped if there is no benefit.

How long until Chinin is out of my system?

The limit of sensitivity for quinine in urine, utilizing TLC, is approximately 0.2mg/mL. Laboratory experience indicates that Chinin may be detected as long as 4 to 5 days after intake.

Can I take Chinin for a long time?

Long-term off-label use of Chinin, still prescribed to individuals with muscle cramps despite Food and Drug Administration warnings of adverse events, is associated with an increased risk of death.

When should I stop taking Chinin?

Stop taking Chinin and call your doctor at once if you have headache with chest pain and severe dizziness, fast or pounding heartbeats, unusual bruising or bleeding, signs of infection, severe lower back pain, or blood in your urine.

Is Chinin bad for liver?

The hepatotoxicity of Chinin is usually mild and resolves within 1 to 4 weeks of stopping. In many instances, jaundice and liver test abnormalities may worsen for a few days after stopping Chinin, but fatalities have not been reported, and recovery is usually rapid.

Can I just stop taking Chinin?

After an initial trial of 4 weeks, treatment should be stopped if there is no benefit. Treatment should be interrupted approximately every 3 months to reassess the benefit. In patients taking Chinin long term, a trial discontinuation may be considered.

How often can I take Chinin ?

Adults and children aged 12 years and over, 600mg every eight hours for 7 days.

Does Chinin raise blood pressure?

This tea has been used in folk medicine to treat a variety of problems, and scientists have confirmed that it lowers blood pressure as well as cholesterol.

How does Chinin work in the body?

brank works by killing the parasite or preventing it from growing.

Is Chinin bad for heart?

Chinin can cause serious side effects on your heart, kidneys, or blood cells.

Does Chinin make me sleepy?

Chinin may cause hypoglycemia.

What happens if I miss a dose of Chinin?

Take the Chinin of dose as soon as you remember. If you are more than 4 hours late for your dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at your next scheduled dose time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

Who should not take Chinin?

You should not take Chinin if you have a heart rhythm disorder called Long QT syndrome, a genetic enzyme deficiency called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, myasthenia gravis, optic neuritis (inflammation of the nerves in your eyes), if you have taken Chinin in the past and it caused a blood cell disorder or severe bleeding.

What happen if I overdose on Chinin?

Symptoms of overdose may include are sudden vision change, confusion, severe trouble hearing, fast/irregular heartbeat, fainting, slow/shallow breathing, seizures, inability to wake up (coma).

*** Taking medicines without doctor's advice can cause long-term problems.