Q. My wife suffers from debilitating leg cramps. For years she has relied on quinine. It works like a charm and she has never experienced any side effects.
She has just discovered that she can no longer get her prescription filled at the pharmacy and is feeling desperate. We’ve heard that quinine is available in Canada and only costs about $35 for 100 pills. How can we locate a reliable Canadian pharmacy?
A. The FDA has made it almost impossible to get quinine for leg cramps. Although many people have used quinine safely for years, others are so vulnerable to its toxic effects that the FDA has determined the drug is too dangerous except to treat malaria.
Although quinine is still available in Canada with a doctor’s prescription, you could run afoul of U.S. Customs and the FDA. We have prepared a Guide to Saving Money on Medicine that discusses Canadian online drugstores, but your wife may want to consider non-drug approaches listed in our Guide to Leg Pain. To order both, please send $4 to in check or money order with a long (no. 10) stamped (58 cents), self-addressed envelope: Graedons' People's Pharmacy, No. RLCA-59, P. O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027. They can also be purchased from our Web site at www.peoplespharmacy.com.