Prolonged experience with quinine in pregnant women over several decades, based on published prospective and retrospective observational studies, surveys, safety and efficacy studies, review articles, case reports and case series have not identified a drug associated risk of major birth defects, miscarriage or adverse maternal or fetal outcomes (see Data).
In animal reproduction studies, administration of quinine by multiple routes of administration to pregnant rabbits, dogs, guinea pigs, rats, and monkeys during the period of organogenesis at doses of 0.25 to 2 times the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) based on body surface area (BSA), produced embryo-fetal toxicity including malformations. Offspring of pregnant rats administered oral quinine sulfate during mating, gestation, and lactation at a dose approximately equivalent to 0.1 times the MRHD based on BSA comparison experienced impaired growth and delayed physical development (see Data).
The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population are unknown. All pregnancies have a background risk of birth defect, loss, or other adverse outcomes. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2 to 4% and 15 to 20%, respectively.
Disease-associated maternal and/or embryo/fetal risk
Malaria during and after pregnancy increases the risk for adverse pregnancy and neonatal outcomes, including maternal anemia, severe malaria, spontaneous abortion, stillbirths, preterm delivery, low birth weight, intrauterine growth retardation, congenital malaria, and maternal and neonatal mortality.
Maternal adverse reactions
An increased incidence of hypoglycemia, due to increased pancreatic secretion of insulin, has been reported with quinine use, in pregnant women, especially during the third trimester1. Monitor glucose levels in pregnant woman taking quinine. Tinnitus, vomiting, dizziness, and nausea are commonly reported adverse reactions in pregnant women taking quinine. Pregnant women are also at risk for a rare triad of complications: massive hemolysis, hemoglobinemia, and hemoglobinuria2.
Labor or delivery
In doses several times higher than those used to treat malaria, quinine may cause uterine contractions; however, there is no evidence that quinine causes uterine contractions at the doses recommended for the treatment of malaria.
Quinine crosses the placenta with measurable blood concentrations in the fetus. In 8 women who delivered live infants 1 to 6 days after starting quinine therapy, umbilical cord plasma quinine concentrations were between 1.0 and 4.6 mg/L (mean 2.4 mg/L) and the mean (±SD) ratio of cord plasma to maternal plasma quinine concentrations was 0.32 ± 0.14. Quinine levels in the fetus may not be therapeutic.
Adverse outcomes have been identified in the post-marketing experience with quinine during pregnancy. Because these outcomes are reported from varied data sources and have inconsistent findings and/or important methodological limitations, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.
In studies in which more than 893 pregnant women were treated with quinine for malaria in the first trimester, no quinine-associated increases in the incidence of congenital anomalies were observed compared with other antimalarial drugs3.
A retrospective study of women with P. falciparum malaria who were treated with oral quinine sulfate 10 mg/kg 3 times daily for 7 days at any time in pregnancy reported no significant difference in the rate of stillbirths at >28 weeks of gestation in women treated with quinine (10 of 633 women [1.6%]) as compared with a control group without malaria or exposure to antimalarial drugs during pregnancy (40 of 2201 women [1.8%]). The overall rate of congenital malformations (9 of 633 offspring [1.4%]) was not different for women who were treated with quinine sulfate compared with the control group (38 of 2201 offspring [1.7%]). The spontaneous abortion rate was higher in the control group (10.9%) than in women treated with quinine sulfate (3.5%) [OR = 3.1; 95% CI 2.1 to 4.7]. An epidemiologic survey that included 104 mother-child pairs exposed to quinine during the first 4 months of pregnancy, found no increased risk of structural birth defects was seen (2 fetal malformations [1.9%]). Case reports describe deafness and optic nerve hypoplasia in children exposed in utero due to maternal ingestion of high doses of quinine.
In animal developmental studies conducted in multiple animal species4 , pregnant animals received quinine by the subcutaneous, intramuscular, and oral routes at doses 0.25 to 2 times the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) based on body surface area (BSA). Increases in fetal death were observed in utero in pregnant rabbits at maternal doses ≥ 100 mg/kg/day and in pregnant dogs at ≥ 15 mg/kg/day corresponding to dose levels approximately 0.5 and 0.25 times the MRHD respectively based on BSA comparisons. Rabbit offspring had increased rates of degenerated auditory nerve and spiral ganglion and increased rates of CNS anomalies such as anencephaly and microcephaly at a dose of 130 mg/kg/day corresponding to a maternal dose approximately 1.3 times the MRHD based on BSA comparison. Guinea pig offspring had increased rates of cochlear hemorrhage at maternal doses of 200 mg/kg corresponding to a dose level of approximately 1.4 times the MRHD based on BSA comparison. No fetal malformations were observed in rats at maternal doses up to 300 mg/kg/day and in monkeys at maternal doses up to 200 mg/kg/day corresponding to doses approximately 1 and 2 times the MRHD respectively based on BSA comparisons.
In a pre-postnatal study, pregnant rats received quinine sulfate in feed beginning two weeks prior to mating, through gestation, and lactation. An estimated oral dose of quinine sulfate of 20 mg/kg/day corresponding to approximately 0.1 times the MRHD based on BSA comparison resulted in offspring with impaired growth, lower body weights at birth and during the lactation period, and delayed physical development of teeth eruption and eye opening during the lactation period.
Quinine is present in human milk. It is estimated that breastfed infants would receive less than 2 to 3 mg per day of quinine base (< 0.4% of the maternal dose) via breast milk (see Data). There are no data on the effects of quinine on the breastfed infant or the effects on milk production. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for quinine sulfate capsules and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed child from quinine sulfate capsules or from the underlying maternal condition.
No toxicity was reported in infants in a single study where oral quinine sulfate (10 mg/kg every 8 hours for 1 to 10 days) was administered to 25 lactating women. Quinine concentrations in breast milk are approximately 31% of quinine concentrations in maternal plasma.
In a published study5 in 5 men receiving oral tablets of 600 mg quinine three times a day for one week, sperm motility was decreased and percent sperm with abnormal morphology was increased, but sperm count and serum testosterone were unaffected.
Based on findings from animal studies, quinine sulfate capsules may impair fertility [see Nonclinical Toxicology (13.1)].
The safety and efficacy of quinine sulfate in pediatric patients under the age of 16 has not been established.
Clinical studies of quinine sulfate did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond to treatment differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients.
Clearance of quinine is decreased in patients with severe chronic renal failure. The dosage and dosing frequency should be reduced [see Dosage and Administration (2.2) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
In patients with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh C), quinine oral clearance (CL/F) is decreased, volume of distribution (Vd/F) is increased, and half-life is prolonged, relative to subjects with normal liver function. Therefore, quinine is not indicated in patients with severe hepatic impairment and alternate therapy should be administered [see Dosage and Administration (2.3) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
Close monitoring is recommended for patients with mild (Child-Pugh A) or moderate (Child-Pugh B) hepatic impairment, as exposure to quinine may be increased relative to subjects with normal liver function [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3) ].
Quinine overdose can be associated with serious complications, including visual impairment, hypoglycemia, cardiac arrhythmias, and death. Visual impairment can range from blurred vision and defective color perception, to visual field constriction and permanent blindness. Cinchonism occurs in virtually all patients with quinine overdose. Symptoms range from headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, tinnitus, vertigo, hearing impairment, sweating, flushing, and blurred vision, to deafness, blindness, serious cardiac arrhythmias, hypotension, and circulatory collapse. Central nervous system toxicity (drowsiness, disturbances of consciousness, ataxia, convulsions, respiratory depression, and coma) has also been reported with quinine overdose, as well as pulmonary edema and adult respiratory distress syndrome.
Most toxic reactions are dose-related; however, some reactions may be idiosyncratic because of the variable sensitivity of patients to the toxic effects of quinine. A lethal dose of quinine has not been clearly defined, but fatalities have been reported after the ingestion of 2 to 8 grams in adults.
Quinine, like quinidine, has Class I antiarrhythmic properties. The cardiotoxicity of quinine is due to its negative inotropic action, and to its effect on cardiac conduction, resulting in decreased rates of depolarization and conduction, and increased action potential and effective refractory period. ECG changes observed with quinine overdose include sinus tachycardia, PR prolongation, T wave inversion, bundle branch block, an increased QT interval, and a widening of the QRS complex. Quinine’s alpha-blocking properties may result in hypotension and further exacerbate myocardial depression by decreasing coronary perfusion. Quinine overdose has been also associated with hypotension, cardiogenic shock, and circulatory collapse, ventricular arrhythmias, including ventricular tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation, idioventricular rhythm, and torsades de pointes, as well as bradycardia, and atrioventricular block [see Warnings and Precautions (5) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
Quinine is rapidly absorbed, and attempts to remove residual quinine sulfate from the stomach by gastric lavage may not be effective. Multiple-dose activated charcoal has been shown to decrease plasma quinine concentrations [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3) ].
Forced acid diuresis, hemodialysis, charcoal column hemoperfusion, and plasma exchange were not found to be effective in significantly increasing quinine elimination in a series of 16 patients.
Quinine sulfate, USP is a cinchona alkaloid chemically described as bis[(R)-(6-methoxyquinolin-4-yl)-[2S ,4S ,5R)-5-ethenyl-1-azabicyclo[2.2.2]oct-2-yl]methanol] sulfate. The structural formula of quinine sulfate, USP is:
C40 H50 N4 O8 S•2H2 O M.W. 783.0
Quinine sulfate, USP occurs as a white or almost white, crystalline powder that darkens on exposure to light. It is odorless and has a persistent very bitter taste. It is slightly soluble in water, sparingly soluble in boiling water and in alcohol, and practically insoluble in ether.
Quinine Sulfate Capsules USP are supplied for oral administration as capsules containing 324 mg of the active ingredient quinine sulfate, USP equivalent to 269 mg free base. Inactive ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, gelatin, iron oxide black, magnesium stearate, pregelatinized corn starch, propylene glycol, shellac, sodium lauryl sulfate, and titanium dioxide. The imprinting ink may contain potassium hydroxide.
FDA approved dissolution test specifications differ from USP.
Quinine is an antimalarial agent [see Microbiology (12.4) ].
QTc interval prolongation was studied in a double-blind, multiple dose, placebo- and positive-controlled crossover study in young (N=13, 20 to 39 years) and elderly (N=13, 65 to 78 years) subjects. After 7 days of dosing with quinine sulfate 648 mg three times daily, the maximum mean (95% upper confidence bound) differences in QTcI from placebo after baseline correction was 27.7 (32.2) ms.
Prolongation of the PR and QRS interval was also noted in subjects receiving quinine sulfate. The maximum mean (95% upper confidence bound) difference in PR from placebo after baseline-correction was 14.5 (18.0) ms. The maximum mean (95% upper confidence bound) difference in QRS from placebo after baseline-correction was 11.5 (13.3) ms. [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4) ].
The oral bioavailability of quinine is 76 to 88% in healthy adults. Quinine exposure is higher in patients with malaria than in healthy subjects. After a single oral dose of quinine sulfate, the mean quinine Tmax was longer, and mean AUC and Cmax were higher in patients with uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria than in healthy subjects, as shown in Table 2 below.
Mean ± SD
Uncomplicated P. falciparum Malaria Patients
Mean ± SD
2.8 ± 0.8
5.9 ± 4.7
3.2 ± 0.7
AUC0-12 (mcg* h/mL)
Quinine sulfate capsules may be administered without regard to meals. When a single oral 324 mg capsule of quinine sulfate was administered to healthy subjects (N=26) with a standardized high-fat breakfast, the mean Tmax of quinine was prolonged to about 4.0 hours, but the mean Cmax and AUC0-24h were similar to those achieved when quinine sulfate capsule was given under fasted conditions [see Dosage and Administration (2.1) ].
In patients with malaria, the volume of distribution (Vd/F) decreases in proportion to the severity of the infection. In published studies with healthy subjects who received a single oral 600 mg dose of quinine sulfate, the mean Vd/F ranged from 2.5 to 7.1 L/kg.
Quinine is moderately protein-bound in blood in healthy subjects, ranging from 69 to 92%. During active malarial infection, protein binding of quinine is increased to 78 to 95%, corresponding to the increase in α1 -acid glycoprotein that occurs with malaria infection.
Intra-erythrocytic levels of quinine are approximately 30 to 50% of the plasma concentration.
Quinine penetrates relatively poorly into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in patients with cerebral malaria, with CSF concentration approximately 2 to 7% of plasma concentration.
In one study, quinine concentrations in placental cord blood and breast milk were approximately 32% and 31%, respectively, of quinine concentrations in maternal plasma. The estimated total dose of quinine secreted into breast milk was less than 2 to 3 mg per day [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1, 8.2)].
Quinine is metabolized almost exclusively via hepatic oxidative cytochrome P450 (CYP) pathways, resulting in four primary metabolites, 3-hydroxyquinine, 2´-quinone, O -desmethylquinine, and 10,11-dihydroxydihydroquinine. Six secondary metabolites result from further biotransformation of the primary metabolites. The major metabolite, 3-hydroxyquinine, is less active than the parent drug.
In vitro studies using human liver microsomes and recombinant P450 enzymes have shown that quinine is metabolized mainly by CYP3A4. Depending on the in vitro experimental conditions, other enzymes, including CYP1A2, CYP2C8, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP2D6, and CYP2E1 were shown to have some role in the metabolism of quinine.
Quinine is eliminated primarily via hepatic biotransformation. Approximately 20% of quinine is excreted unchanged in urine. Because quinine is reabsorbed when the urine is alkaline, renal excretion of the drug is twice as rapid when the urine is acidic than when it is alkaline.
In various published studies, healthy subjects who received a single oral 600 mg dose of quinine sulfate exhibited a mean plasma clearance ranging from 0.08 to 0.47 L/h/kg (median value: 0.17 L/h/kg) with a mean plasma elimination half-life of 9.7 to 12.5 hours.
In 15 patients with uncomplicated malaria who received a 10 mg/kg oral dose of quinine sulfate, the mean total clearance of quinine was slower (approximately 0.09 L/h/kg) during the acute phase of the infection, and faster (approximately 0.16 L/h/kg) during the recovery or convalescent phase.
Extracorporeal Elimination: Administration of multiple-dose activated charcoal (50 grams administered 4 hours after quinine dosing followed by 3 further doses over the next 12 hours) decreased the mean quinine elimination half-life from 8.2 to 4.6 hours, and increased the mean quinine clearance by 56% (from 11.8 L/h to 18.4 L/h) in 7 healthy adult subjects who received a single oral 600 mg dose of quinine sulfate. Likewise, in 5 symptomatic patients with acute quinine poisoning who received multiple-dose activated charcoal (50 grams every 4 hours), the mean quinine elimination half-life was shortened to 8.1 hours in comparison to a half-life of approximately 26 hours in patients who did not receive activated charcoal [see Overdosage (10) ].
In 6 patients with quinine poisoning, forced acid diuresis did not change the half-life of quinine elimination (25.1 ± 4.6 hours vs. 26.5 ± 5.8 hours), or the amount of unchanged quinine recovered in the urine, in comparison to 8 patients not treated in this manner [see Overdosage (10) ].
The pharmacokinetics of quinine in children (1.5 to 12 years old) with uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria appear to be similar to that seen in adults with uncomplicated malaria. Furthermore, as seen in adults, the mean total clearance and the volume of distribution of quinine were reduced in pediatric patients with malaria as compared to the healthy pediatric controls. Table 3 below provides a comparison of the mean ± SD pharmacokinetic parameters of quinine in pediatric patients versus healthy pediatric controls.
Healthy Pediatric Controls *
Mean ± SD
P. falciparum Malaria Pediatric Patients *
Mean ± SD
3.4 ± 1.18
7.5 ± 1.1
3.2 ± 0.3
12.1 ± 1.4
Total CL (L/h/kg)
0.30 ± 0.04
0.06 ± 0.01
1.43 ± 0.18
0.87 ± 0.12
Following a single oral dose of 600 mg quinine sulfate, the mean AUC was about 38% higher in 8 healthy elderly subjects (65 to 78 years old) than in 12 younger subjects (20 to 35 years old). The mean Tmax and Cmax were similar in elderly and younger subjects after a single oral dose of quinine sulfate 600 mg. The mean oral clearance of quinine was significantly decreased, and the mean elimination half-life was significantly increased in elderly subjects compared with younger subjects (0.06 versus 0.08 L/h/kg, and 18.4 hours versus 10.5 hours, respectively). Although there was no significant difference in the renal clearance of quinine between the two age groups, elderly subjects excreted a larger proportion of the dose in urine as unchanged drug than younger subjects (16.6% versus 11.2%).
After a single 648 mg dose or at steady state, following quinine sulfate 648 mg given three times daily for 7 days, no difference in the rate and extent of absorption or clearance of quinine was seen between 13 elderly subjects (65 to 78 years old) and 14 young subjects (20 to 39 years old). The mean elimination half-life was 20% longer in the elderly subjects (24.0 hours) than in younger subjects (20.0 hours). The steady state Cmax (± SD) and AUC0-8 (± SD) for healthy volunteers are 6.8 ± 1.24 mcg/mL and 48.8 ± 9.15 mcg*h/mL, respectively, following 7 days of oral quinine sulfate 648 mg three times daily. The steady state pharmacokinetic parameters in healthy elderly subjects were similar to the pharmacokinetic parameters in healthy young subjects.
Patients with Renal Impairment
Following a single oral 600 mg dose of quinine sulfate in otherwise healthy subjects with severe chronic renal failure not receiving any form of dialysis (mean serum creatinine = 9.6 mg/dL), the median AUC was higher by 195% and the median Cmax was higher by 79% than in subjects with normal renal function (mean serum creatinine = 1 mg/dL). The mean plasma half-life in subjects with severe chronic renal impairment was prolonged to 26 hours compared to 9.7 hours in the healthy controls. Computer assisted modeling and simulation indicates that in patients with malaria and severe chronic renal failure, a dosage regimen consisting of one loading dose of 648 mg quinine sulfate followed 12 hours later by a maintenance dosing regimen of 324 mg every 12 hours will provide adequate systemic exposure to quinine [see Dosage and Administration (2.2) ]. The effects of mild and moderate renal impairment on the pharmacokinetics and safety of quinine sulfate are not known.
Negligible to minimal amounts of circulating quinine in the blood are removed by hemodialysis or hemofiltration. In subjects with chronic renal failure (CRF) on hemodialysis, only about 6.5% of quinine is removed in 1 hour. Plasma quinine concentrations do not change during or shortly after hemofiltration in subjects with CRF [see Overdosage (10) ].
Patients with Hepatic Impairment
In otherwise healthy subjects with mild hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh A; N=10), who received a single 500 mg dose of quinine sulfate, there was no significant difference in quinine pharmacokinetic parameters or exposure to the primary metabolite, 3-hydroxyquinine as compared to healthy controls (N=10). In otherwise healthy subjects with moderate hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh B; N=9) who received a single oral 600 mg dose of quinine sulfate, the mean AUC increased by 55% without a significant change in mean Cmax , as compared to healthy volunteer controls (N=6). In subjects with hepatitis, the absorption of quinine was prolonged, the elimination half-life was increased, the apparent volume of distribution was higher, but there was no significant difference in weight-adjusted clearance. Therefore, in patients with mild to moderate hepatic impairment, dosage adjustment is not needed, but patients should be monitored closely for adverse effects of quinine [see Use in Specific Populations (8.7) ].
In subjects with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh C; N=10), quinine oral clearance (CL/F) was reduced as was formation of the primary 3-hydroxyquinine metabolite. Volume of distribution (Vd/F) was higher and the plasma elimination half-life was increased. Therefore, quinine is not indicated in this population and alternate therapy should be administered [see Dosage and Administration (2.3) ].
Drug Interaction Studies
Effect of other drugs on quinine
Quinine is a P-gp substrate and is primarily metabolized by CYP3A4. Other enzymes, including CYP1A2, CYP2C8, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP2D6, and CYP2E1 may contribute to the metabolism of quinine.
Cholestyramine: In 8 healthy subjects who received quinine sulfate 600 mg with or without 8 grams of cholestyramine resin, no significant difference in quinine pharmacokinetic parameters was seen.
Cigarette Smoking (CYP1A2 inducer): In healthy male heavy smokers, the mean quinine AUC following a single 600 mg dose was 44% lower, the mean Cmax was 18% lower, and the elimination half-life was shorter (7.5 hours versus 12 hours) than in their non-smoking counterparts. However, in malaria patients who received the full 7-day course of quinine therapy, cigarette smoking produced only a 25% decrease in median quinine AUC and a 16.5% decrease in median Cmax , suggesting that the already reduced clearance of quinine in acute malaria could have diminished the metabolic induction effect of smoking. Because smoking did not appear to influence the therapeutic outcome in malaria patients, it is not necessary to increase the dose of quinine in the treatment of acute malaria in heavy cigarette smokers.
Grapefruit juice (P-gp/CYP3A4 inhibitor): In a pharmacokinetic study involving 10 healthy subjects, the administration of a single 600 mg dose of quinine sulfate with grapefruit juice (full-strength or half-strength) did not significantly alter the pharmacokinetic parameters of quinine. Quinine sulfate capsules may be taken with grapefruit juice.
Histamine H2-receptor blockers [cimetidine, ranitidine (nonspecific CYP450 inhibitors)]: In healthy subjects who were given a single oral 600 mg dose of quinine sulfate after pretreatment with cimetidine (200 mg three times daily and 400 mg at bedtime for 7 days) or ranitidine (150 mg twice daily for 7 days), the apparent oral clearance of quinine decreased and the mean elimination half-life increased significantly when given with cimetidine but not with ranitidine. Compared to untreated controls, the mean AUC of quinine increased by 20% with ranitidine and by 42% with cimetidine (p<0.05) without a significant change in mean quinine Cmax [see Drug Interactions (7)].
Isoniazid: Isoniazid 300 mg/day pretreatment for 1 week did not significantly alter the pharmacokinetic parameter values of quinine. Adjustment of quinine sulfate capsules dosage is not necessary when isoniazid is given concomitantly.
Ketoconazole (CYP3A4 inhibitor): In a crossover study, healthy subjects (N=9) who received a single oral dose of quinine hydrochloride (500 mg) concomitantly with ketoconazole (100 mg twice daily for 3 days) had a mean quinine AUC that was higher by 45% and a mean oral clearance of quinine that was 31% lower than after receiving quinine alone [see Drug Interactions (7)].
Macrolide antibiotics (erythromycin, troleandomycin) (CYP3A4 inhibitors): In a crossover study (N=10), healthy subjects who received a single oral 600 mg dose of quinine sulfate with the macrolide antibiotic, troleandomycin (500 mg every 8 hours) exhibited a 87% higher mean quinine AUC, a 45% lower mean oral clearance of quinine, and a 81% lower formation clearance of the main metabolite, 3-hydroxyquinine, than when quinine was given alone [see Drug Interactions (7)].
Erythromycin was shown to inhibit the in vitro metabolism of quinine in human liver microsomes, an observation confirmed by an in vivo interaction study. In a crossover study (N=10), healthy subjects who received a single oral 500 mg dose of quinine sulfate with erythromycin (600 mg every 8 hours for four days) showed a decrease in quinine oral clearance (CL/F), an increase in half-life, and a decreased metabolite (3-hydroxyquinine) to quinine AUC ratio, as compared to when quinine was given with placebo [see Drug Interactions (7)].
Oral contraceptives (estrogen, progestin): In 7 healthy females who were using single-ingredient progestin or combination estrogen-containing oral contraceptives, the pharmacokinetic parameters of a single 600 mg dose of quinine sulfate were not altered in comparison to those observed in 7 age-matched female control subjects not using oral contraceptives.
Rifampin (CYP3A4 inducer): In patients with uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria who received quinine sulfate 10 mg/kg concomitantly with rifampin 15 mg/kg/day for 7 days (N=29), the median AUC of quinine between days 3 and 7 of therapy was 75% lower as compared to those who received quinine monotherapy. In healthy subjects (N=9) who received a single oral 600 mg dose of quinine sulfate after 2 weeks of pretreatment with rifampin 600 mg/day, the mean quinine AUC and Cmax decreased by 85% and 55%, respectively [see Drug Interactions (7)].
Ritonavir: In healthy subjects who received a single oral 600 mg dose of quinine sulfate with the 15th dose of ritonavir (200 mg every 12 hours for 9 days), there were 4-fold increases in the mean quinine AUC and Cmax , and an increase in the mean elimination half-life (13.4 hours versus 11.2 hours), compared to when quinine was given alone [see Drug Interactions (7)].
Tetracycline: In 8 patients with acute uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria who were treated with oral quinine sulfate (600 mg every 8 hours for 7 days) in combination with oral tetracycline (250 mg every 6 hours for 7 days), the mean plasma quinine concentrations were about two-fold higher than in 8 patients who received quinine monotherapy [see Drug Interactions (7)].
Theophylline or aminophylline: In 20 healthy subjects who received multiple doses of quinine sulfate capsules (648 mg every 8 hours x 7 days) with a single 300 mg oral dose of theophylline, the quinine mean Cmax and AUC were increased by 13% and 14% respectively [see Drug Interactions (7)].
Effects of quinine on other drugs
Results of in vivo drug interaction studies suggest that quinine has the potential to inhibit the metabolism of drugs that are substrates of CYP3A4 and CYP2D6. Quinine inhibits P-gp and has the potential to affect the transport of drugs that are P-gp substrates.
Anticonvulsants (carbamazepine, phenobarbital, and phenytoin): A single 600 mg oral dose of quinine sulfate increased the mean plasma Cmax , and AUC0–24 of single oral doses of carbamazepine (200 mg) and phenobarbital (120 mg) but not phenytoin (200 mg) in 8 healthy subjects. The mean AUC increases of carbamazepine, phenobarbital and phenytoin were 104%, 81%, and 4%, respectively; the mean increases in Cmax were 56%, 53%, and 4%, respectively. Mean urinary recoveries of the three antiepileptics over 24 hours were also profoundly increased by quinine [see Drug Interactions (7)].
Desipramine (CYP2D6 substrate): Quinine (750 mg/day for 2 days) decreased the metabolism of desipramine in patients who were extensive CYP2D6 metabolizers, but had no effect in patients who were poor CYP2D6 metabolizers. Lower doses (80 mg to 400 mg) of quinine did not significantly affect the pharmacokinetics of other CYP2D6 substrates, namely, debrisoquine, dextromethorphan, and methoxyphenamine. Although clinical drug interaction studies have not been performed, antimalarial doses (greater than or equal to 600 mg) of quinine may inhibit the metabolism of other drugs that are CYP2D6 substrates (e.g., flecainide, debrisoquine, dextromethorphan, metoprolol, paroxetine) [see Drug Interactions (7)].
Digoxin (P-gp substrate): In 4 healthy subjects who received digoxin (0.5 to 0.75 mg/day) during treatment with quinine (750 mg/day), a 33% increase in mean steady state AUC of digoxin and a 35% reduction in the steady state biliary clearance of digoxin were observed compared to digoxin alone [see Drug Interactions (7)].
Halofantrine: Although not studied clinically, quinine was shown to inhibit the metabolism of halofantrine in vitro using human liver microsomes. Therefore, concomitant administration of quinine sulfate capsules is likely to increase plasma halofantrine concentrations [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].
Mefloquine: In 7 healthy subjects who received mefloquine (750 mg) at 24 hours before an oral 600 mg dose of quinine sulfate, the AUC of mefloquine was increased by 22% compared to mefloquine alone. In this study, the QTc interval was significantly prolonged in the subjects who received mefloquine and quinine sulfate 24 hours apart [see Drug Interactions (7)].
Midazolam (CYP3A4 substrate): In 23 healthy subjects who received multiple doses of quinine sulfate capsules 324 mg three times daily x 7 days with a single oral 2 mg dose of midazolam, the mean AUC and Cmax of midazolam and 1-hydroxymidazolam were not significantly affected. This finding indicates that 7-day dosing with quinine sulfate capsules 324 mg every 8 hours did not induce the metabolism of midazolam.
Neuromuscular blocking agents (pancuronium, succinylcholine, tubocurarine): In one report, quinine potentiated neuromuscular blockade in a patient who received pancuronium during an operative procedure, and subsequently (3 hours after receiving pancuronium) received quinine 1800 mg daily [see Drug Interactions (7)].
Ritonavir: In healthy subjects who received a single oral 600 mg dose of quinine sulfate with the 15th dose of ritonavir (200 mg every 12 hours for 9 days), the mean ritonavir AUC, Cmax, and elimination half-life were slightly but not significantly increased compared to when ritonavir was given alone [see Drug Interactions (7)].
Theophylline or aminophylline (CYP1A2 substrate): In 19 healthy subjects who received multiple doses of quinine sulfate capsules 648 mg every 8 hours x 7 days with a single 300 mg oral dose of theophylline, the mean theophylline AUC was 10% lower than when theophylline was given alone. There was no significant effect on mean theophylline Cmax [see Drug Interactions (7)].
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