Log in
Restless Legs Syndrome
10,840 members6,782 posts

Quinine for leg cramps

Hi, I've just been prescribed Quinine for severe leg cramps, which I put down to Achilles tendonitis, and sciatica, I also have mild RLS.

I have just taken my first tablet tonight, then decided to do some research (which I wish I had done first!) . And what I have found out has scared the life out of me! The amount of times I have seen the word death related to Quinine!

My GP gave me no advice about taking Quinine or it's possible side effects!

I suffer from severe depression and chronic anxiety. And because of this I'm now going to think I have every single one of those side effects

Please help x

10 Replies

You'll be grand- assuming you have a good heart.

Quinine is the correct med for leg cramps- and an excellent placebo for rls.

The FDA have given a few warnings about it - but your Dr will know whether it's ok for your particular situation.

You could try magnesium citrate 200mg which might also help withthe cramps and help you to some calm sleep.

Life is far too short to be worriting yourself to a frazzle.

Watch a good comedy instead!

Mind yourself.


Bear in mind that quinine is related to the caffeine results and though it is a treatment for RLS it may have a reverse affect if a person is sensitive to caffeine.


About three weeks ago I mentioned that I was experimenting on my wife with some magnesium. She has cramps very regularly, probably averaging three times per week she is woken by painful leg cramps, usually at 3 to 5am. I think I gave instructions on our standard response which was a procedure to make a high concentration drink of Staminade. This has an excellent record of success but we were hoping for a better way so we experimented with magnesiium diglycinate. Some time ago we tried magnesium oxide but it made no difference to her cramps. Three tablets per day She had a mild cramp on the first morning and has had no cramps since. Still a bit early to be definite but certainly a good start. She has now reduced it to two tablets per day. Her endocrinologist recommended we try Magnesium orotate and maybe we will, one day, but for us the Diglyncinate works fine.

Perhaps you would like to try this instead of the quinine. I haven't specifically checked side effects but magnesium salts seems to be a safe product in reasonable doses.

Good Luck


1 like

So I understand that you (or more specifically: your wife) switched from Mg oxide to Mg biglycinate. And that worked. Good for you and her!

Also, you are reducing the dose now. Even better, provided it still works.

It seems like a general good advise to always try and find the lowest possible dose of something rhat (still) works.

And to see if that is truely in the safe side, be open to your GP or other assisting doctor about it and have your blood levels checked every now and then (once or twice a year?) and surely in case of -negative- changes.

Keep up the good work!

BTW, iron diglycinate is the same as iron bisglycinate is the same as gentle iron.

('di' and 'bis' both mean two or twice)


I wouldn't use Quinine for leg cramps. Anxiety, Depression and Leg Cramps - you should try an adrenal cocktail - very simple 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (not table salt), with 1/4 teaspoon Cream of Tartar (Potassium). Mix with 4 0z Orange Juice. Here's the story gotmag.org/the-adrenal-cock...

In the US - The Food and Drug Admin. recommended NOT using quinine for leg cramps - story here webmd.com/pain-management/n...

My RLS started with severe and day/night leg cramps. I'm still not sure of the original cause. But now - I drink sea salt 1/4 teaspoon in 20 oz. of water every day.


The FDA has not made an adequate case for its position and some Neurologists have a differing view.

USA is the only country in the world to hold this view which is based on a different dosage to that used for cramps.




Thanks for that info, some thing i didnt know that the UK had this about using Quinine.

1 like

Yes- thanks for that- good to know.

Anyway- it's a med to be wary of.


Quinine is useless for RLS as its primarily for cramps, which isn't the same. I was given it a few years back and when I went back after a few months of trying and no improvement at all, the gp I saw (different from who prescribed quinine) actually laughed and said it was ridiculous I was put on it as it's of no benefit at all! Now I'm on Ropinerole and that makes such a difference ( still get RLS but nothing as bad as it was)

( I'm bipolar btw👍🏻)


You may also like...