Restless Legs Syndrome
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Quinine sulphate side effects

Hi. I've just found this site and am loving reading the blogs and questions!

I've had RLS for years but until recently it was manageable and mainly in the evenings. Recently it has got worse and been affecting my sleep so I decided it was time to see my GP. He did a blood test to check iron and kidney function (I think!) which came bk ok. He has been very understanding. He prescribed Quinine Sulphate tabs (300mg) to take at bedtime and give 3 weeks to see if the help the RLS. After 3 days of taking the tabs I had ringing in my ears and felt exhausted and so after taking tabs for a week decided to stop taking them. My breathing also was weird and on the worst day I could hardly move and all I cd do was lie down! Not good!

Went bk to see GP who said it might be tabs but cd just be a virus so when I was feeling better wd I try the tabs again. This visit was at the start of 10 days AL from FT work. So this Wednesday night, the day before going back to work I took a tablet.

In the morning my breathing felt a bit odd but I decided that it was all in my mind and to carry on. I got as far as breakfast but then had to go to bed where I drifted in and out of the day. My breathing was still weird, my ears were ringing, and I literally cdnt move off the bed. I felt confused and my eyes were blurry at times.

Today is Sunday and I still feel very out of sorts. RLS was horrendous last night. One foot playing up at 12 and one at 2! All my muscles now ache when I use them so it is really uncomfortable!

Sorry for such a long, long first blog! Nice to download!

Has anyone else had this experience with quinine?

What shd I ask my GP for next?

All suggestions and comments welcomed please! Thank you! Bayz in the UK! Xx

11 Replies

Welcome to this marvellous site and I hope you find some help here. My doctor prescribed quinine many years ago and I did not suffer any of the effects you experienced. Things have moved on since then, I now take 1 mg of ropinirole and this helps (together with my "Circulation Booster") - I am sure if your doctor were to look at this site and especially that part dealing with medication it will help him or her and in turn help you assuming your RLS is confirmed.

Good luck.


Can you get this over counter without consulting doctor. Iam on prescription mde and want to get off this. I have suffered with these leg camps since a child. momma would rub my legs down with alcohol which I don't think help but probably massaging the legs did.


You need to stp taking the Quinine right away. Quinine is not for RLS, for one thing, it is for leg cramps, two different things. Quinine has been pulled from the market in the US, for various serious heart related side effects, and you may be having some of those wit the Quinine. See the treatment page on See what the RLS expert says about Quinine and RLS. Also, see the list of"Drugs and Foods to Avoid". that is the very best place to start. But, Quinine does not help RLS, it is those charlie horse leg cramps. Lots of doctors who do not know much about RLS or how to treat it may go right to the Quinine, but it is only to be used , according to the FDA, for treating malaria. They feel that all the other side effects are not worth it, at least in the US. There are a lot of over the counter meds that are not to be taken too, that are on the "avoid" list. Welcome!



Thank you both for your responses. I have stopped taking the quinine already and don't intend to take it again! I'm going to have a look at the medication information and will make sure I pass this website and the info it contains onto my GP.

It's frightening to think that the quinine is now not used for RLS in the US and yet was prescribed to me!

I'm looking forward to finding out how Incan help myself and joining in the blogs where I can xx


I did find a list of side effects that listed "shallow breathing" as one. I knew I had read something about that and breathing a couple of months ago.


Sometimes ya gotta wonder what the doctor was smoking

because I live in the USA and was prescibed the same as

you but it was for RA, not think that a doctor, of

all people,would want us to take such a dangerous drug..

and how come I wasn't told about how dangerous it is kind

of thing..I'm grateful to people like Nightdancer who found

this out and saved my heart, maybe my life.


my doc is good and has never recommended this, I just read from the Internet which can be a double edged sword. Now we know we find things on the internet which are great but like the old Readers D ingest where I. Used to defined thing, one of the reasons not to go into your doc and say,I read this in Readers digest or saw on the Internet. Remember, he is the doctor, and we are the patient. I am bless to have foundation loving and caring doc. Wonder if his being a Christian has anything to do with that kindness. He is what they use to say. Wow! Now that is some Dr.


I agree with nightdancer stop staking them. This drug was given because their was nothing else, before research was started to find out what treatment works for RLS. I was offered it back in 1996 and didnt take it because of the sideffects re breathing problems as i have Asthma. God knows why they thought it would help RLS.

When you have looked at the website you will find every thing you need to now and take it to your Dr to get him out of the dark ages.



"They" think that Quinine works because years and years ago, it was used for leg CRAMPS, not RLS. RLS is neurological, not muscular, even though it may feel like that some days. Then, the Quinine got mixed up with the "soap" thingy, as a home remedy for RLS, because a lot of people still think that muscle cramps are the same as RLS, and it is not at all, not even a little bit, related. :) ver the years, people just started thinking that it was all one thing, and that si how it got all mixed up. RLS is not cramps. That is very old information your doctor was working with there. Not one official RLS web site or official RLS book would ever say to use Quinine for RLS. If anyone sees that information on a web site, take all the rest of it with a rain of salt. It is either very old or dated information, or it is a web site that has no idea what they are talking about. So, that kind of explains how doctors who do not keep with current info get into a treatment "quandry". been there and done that with a lot of doctors. Probably posts like this one is not what one's doctor would like to see. :) Some doctors do get very touchy if they think, "oh, no not the internet!" and start rolling their eyes. We are the ones who deal with RLs on a daily basis. I am lucky my doctor just lets me tell her what is up, and she takes my word for it. So, I am very lucky in that respect. It took a long time, though!


....and you know what happens when Anatasia rolls her eyes...

haha (50 shades) Sorry, it's my silly mood today...


My boyfriend has had great success with high quality magnesium supplementation for RLS. Magnesium oil topically and chelate tablets. Research shows magnesium deficiency contributing to muscle spasms, and magnesium happens to be the most commonly deficient mineral in the US population.


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