Chloroquinine and quinine



Publication Details

Dargan, P. I. & Jones, A. L. (2005). Chloroquinine and quinine. In J. Brent, K. Wallace, K. K. Burkhart, S. D. Phillips & W. J. Donovan (Eds.), Critical Care Toxicology: Diagnosis and Management of the Critically Poisoned Patient (pp. 673-681). Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Mosby.


Chloroquine is used to prevent and treat malaria and to manage systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. It is the most severe and frequent cause of poisoning by antimalarial drugs. Among 167 chloroquine poisoning cases admitted to a toxicology critical care unit, the mortality was less than 10%; these are the best survival figures quoted in the literature to date. Chloroquine is a frequent method of suicide in Africa and France

Quinine is an alkaloid extracted from the bark of various species of cinchona tree (Rubiaceae). It first was employed as an antipyretic, albeit not a very effective one, by the Portuguese in the first half of the 17th century.

Quinine salts are used in the treatment of chloroquineresistant malaria. It also commonly is employed for the treatment of nocturnal cramps, for which it has limited efficacy. Quinine has been used as an illegal abortifacient. Quinine also has been used to cut street heroin. It is used widely in tonic water for its bitter taste, and there are several case reports of allergic reactions when it has been consumed this way, Detailed review of overdoses in Scotland showed that 64% of overdoses occurred with prescriptions for other family members, and in only 36% of cases had patients taken their own quinine.

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