Quinine powder is found in Peruvian trees and used in very small amounts to manufacture quinine water, also known as tonic water. Tonic water is sometimes used to relieve leg cramps because the quinine is said to relax leg muscles.
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Quinine water contains less than 20 mg of quinine, a far lower concentration than the therapeutic dose of 200 to 350 mg indicated to treat malaria. This concentration is considered harmless. However, if ingested in the amounts used to treat malaria, serious side effects can occur.
Side Effect: Skin Rashes
Though side effects from quinine water are unusual, people who are sensitive to quinine should avoid it, according to Peoplespharmacy.com. Side effects of quinine include itching of the skin and rashes.
Side Effects: Bleeding
A serious side effect of quinine is a blood dyscrasia or abnormality called thrombocytopenia. Thrombocytopenia is a decreased number of the platelets responsible for blood clotting. This can cause significant bruising and bleeding.
Side Effect: Cardiac
Cardiac side effects of quinine include chest pain, irregular heartbeat, rapid heart rate and faintness.
Side Effect : Allergic Reaction
A serious side effect of quinine is severe allergic reaction. Although rare, quinine can cause swelling of the mouth, face and throat, respiratory distress and seizure.
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