Q. Do you know any doctors who will write prescriptions for quinine sulfate to prevent leg cramps? I am desperate to find one. I have taken quinine for this for 20 years with miraculous results and no problems. Now with only a two-week supply left, I’ve been told the FDA has banned it for leg cramps and my doctor will not write me a script.
Before I started taking quinine, my leg cramps were so terrible I had to call the paramedics or scream for my husband to knead them out. The next day I could not walk. That was 20 years ago. I know I could not withstand it today. It would kill me.
A. The FDA banned quinine for preventing leg cramps because the drug can cause potentially lethal reactions. It may result in heart rhythm disturbances, serious allergic reactions or a dangerous blood disorder.
We can’t steer you to a doctor who would be willing to prescribe quinine sulfate for your leg cramps, but we can make some other suggestions. Tonic water still contains quinine and some people find it is helpful for preventing leg cramps.
We have many other suggestions in our Guide to Leg Pain, including magnesium supplements, low sodium V-8 juice, pickle juice or B vitamin complex.