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Is Quinine in Tonic Water Safe?

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The Food and Drug Administration has banned the use of quinine to treat leg cramps. Although this drug has been available for centuries, the FDA has determined that it is far too dangerous to use for anything but malaria.

The trouble is that some people are extremely sensitive to quinine's toxic effects. This drug can cause headache, rash, ringing in the ears, nausea, dizziness and blurred vision.
The most serious reactions are rare but can be life threatening. Blood disorders can lead to hemorrhaging. Dozens of hospitalizations and two deaths are linked to quinine.

Clearly, quinine can be dangerous for certain people, but the FDA has not banned quinine from tonic water. Quinine gives this beverage its distinctive flavor. Either the FDA doesn't consider tonic water a danger to public health or the agency worries about arousing the ire of millions of gin and tonic drinkers.

Because of this loophole, many people have discovered that drinking tonic water can help prevent muscle cramps. One reader related her experience: "I suffered with nightly leg cramps until one magic day on the Greek island Santorini. I had gone on tour as a guest singer of the New York Choral Society. One free afternoon, a group of us went to a black sand beach where I swam. The only other member of the group who also swam was a New York trauma surgeon. I developed a cramp and was trying to walk it out when he told me about Schweppes tonic, which contains a very small amount of quinine.

"I couldn't find any tonic on Santorini or in Athens, but as soon as I returned home I started drinking a large glass (diet, with cranberry) every night. It has worked for me for several years, but I definitely know if I skip a dose!

"I asked a pharmacist friend to search the literature to see if anything else contains a small amount of quinine. She couldn't find anything and told me the dangers of using high-dose quinine. I have checked with my doctors and have heard nothing against my practice of drinking Schweppes."

Tonic contains 83 mg. of quinine in a liter. An eight-ounce glass or tonic would only have about 20 mg of quinine, considerably less than the dose that used to be prescribed for leg cramps (200 to 300 mg).

Despite the low dose, however, many readers maintain that it works: "My doctor recommended tonic water for nocturnal leg cramps. It works every time very quickly. In less than five minutes I get relief and can go back to sleep. I suffer NO pains if I drink half a glass before I go to bed."

Some people find even the small amount of quinine in tonic water can pose problems. These folks may experience ringing in the ears, rash, itching or blurred vision and should steer clear of tonic water altogether.

For such people, home remedies may be the best way to get relief from nocturnal leg cramps. Our Guide to Leg Pain has instructions on stretching as well as a range of remedies.

If you find these sorts of practical, affordable home remedies of interest, you may wish to subscribe to our free online newsletter. It offers questions and answers about drugs, home remedies, nutrition and non-drug approaches to healing; commentaries on the most pressing health issues of the day; special alerts on breaking health news as it happens and coverage of the top health headlines of the week. Just click on the link below:

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I have just read your column in today's L. A. Times (10/11/2010) re quinine. I am 79-years old and need to know if having a little quinine (bottled) at bedtime is harmful as is the tablet. I have leg cramps only once in a while.

I await your answer with great interest.

I have had severe restless leg syndrome for several years and am on prescription medication for it. However whenever I fly, although I am on RLS medication, I will still feel a slight RLS discomfort and have found that if I drink tonic water during that flight the feeling will disappear. I would be curious if any other people have had this experience.

Does anyone else have any more info on the Tonic Water--I have 2 friends that suffer from night cramps & I would like to pass the info on to them.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: MANY PEOPLE TELL US THAT ONE OR TWO GLASSES OF TONIC WATER DAILY PREVENT NIGHT LEG CRAMPS.

There is a homeopathic OTC called Leg Cramps made by Hylands that is effective. It contains quinine in a homeopathic dose as Viscum Album 3X. I purchase mine in natural food stores and vitamin stores.

Many years ago I was suffering from leg cramps almost every night. My doctor gave me a prescription for quinone. I was supposed to take it whenever leg cramps got to be a problem. The first time I took some it worked fine. The next time I developed a high fever. And the next time and the next time.

The doctor insisted that I had an ear infection, or a virus, or a sinus infection. I went to my pharmacist and asked to see his PDR. There, in very tiny print at the bottom of the list of side effects, it listed "an elevated fever". I never took quinone again and never had the "unexplained" fever again.

I also read your column in the L.A. Times re the FDA banning the use of quinine for leg cramps. I buy a product named Hyland's Leg Cramps with Quinine at Rite Aide. I put two tablets under my tongue nightly before I go to bed. I'm wondering how can that product be sold, and should I discontinue using it. My doctors are aware that I use it, and haven't shown any concern about it.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: HOMEOPATHIC PRODUCTS SUCH AS THIS ARE SOLD AS DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS. THE SUPPOSITION IS THAT THE DOSE IS TOO LOW TO CAUSE NASTY REACTIONS. WE DON'T KNOW IF THAT IS TRUE.

I know this is a subject of serious doubt and debate but - my brother was an orthopedic surgeon and years ago told me to take quinine. OK, can't
get it any more. TRUST ME, the soap under the sheet works 95 per cent of the time. Put it where your feet would be if your slept without moving.
The "magic" will find you.

Another idea is V8 juice. Away from home this summer, in a new bed without the soap, the cramps promptly arrived. No extra soap hand, I drank a small can of V8 (probably 6-8 oz.) and cramp went away immediately.

Believe it or not, but try it.

My Rheumatologist suggested tonic water for my 'on again, off again' restless leg problem. I mixed it first with cranberry or another strong flavor juice but now have developed a taste for it just plain; maybe because it works! And it works fast. Recently I drank a little bit just before having an MRI, knowing that restless legs would make lying still impossible. An 8oz. glass works fine for me.

I generally take potassium to avoid leg cramps. Occasionally, I run out of it, or forget to take it for a few days. The leg cramps return within days. My chiropractor had told me about taking the tonic water with quinine for the cramps, and I find it works great for me. I especially like it in the summer time, as it is refreshing. I just drink it chilled; as little as four ounces a day seems to be enough for me. And foods high in potassium should help, too.

YELLOW MUSTARD, supplement MINERALS: MAGNESIUM,Z INC AND CALCIUM will help too, along or in combination (or foods rich in these minerals).

A fall over 9 years ago, 3 surgeries over a 6 year period ending with a total knee replacement and only 6 months of relief and 2 years on Quinine have left me with almost constant confusion, have ringing in ears but no leg cramps.

It started with about 24 cramps throughout the day and night for several weeks. Severe, unable to straighten the injured leg and extremely painful, they were behind the knee. The surgeon said the cramps are from inflammation in the knee. Will tonic water work? How does the mustard work? Please help, I want my life back!

what causes tonic water to glow when under a blacklite? Is it the quinine.

tonic water for rls is the great... it worked the first night I drank it... I mix it with a little cranberry or grape juice and it's great... you only need about 4-6ozs

Is it possible to be taking too many otc vitamins and minerals which subsequently cause severe leg cramps (charley horse)?

I was having cramps 3 to 6 times per day in my legs, arms, hands and back. Everything tested normal in my blood tests. My doctor suggested drinking 8 oz. of tonic with quinine every day. I have been drinking the tonic water with quinine for over a month and only had one cramp.

I believe that the quinine was counter acted by the four cups of regular coffee that I drank. I now only drink decaf coffee and have had no cramps. I don't know if there will be any side effects from the quinine but life is good without the cramps.

I have muscle cramps all over my body. If I bend over to tie my shoes, my abs cramp. If I reach up to stretch, my side cramps. If I lean back in a chair, my back cramps. If I bend my knee to >90 degrees, my hamstring cramps. Any position to uncramp a muscle, results in its opposite cramping.

At times, I've had my abs cramp and as I stretch them, my back cramps. Then there's no where to go. This goes on all day, although some days it doesn't happen, but I just couldn't take it anymore. The doctor checked my labs and said there was nothing wrong with me.

I have no serious illnesses or other symptoms. Then I read that someone said tonic water helped. I figured why not? Any day that I mix about 3-4 oz of tonic water with juice is a day without muscle cramps. I hope they never take it off the market. I believe in it. Oh... I don't have the typical night time leg cramps. Go figure.

I had horrible leg cramps in the middle of the night and they were coming one after another - several at a time until I wanted to scream - they hurt so much. Several at a time. Went to my doctor and he said take tonic water and I haven't had a cramp ever since. Love it.

Some years ago I went for an eye exam and complained that one of my eyes constantly twitched. Tonic water with quinine was prescribed. It worked. To this day when I encounter the twitching eye I buy tonic with quinine. I have recommended it to others who have complained of having the same condition. They too say it worked for them. I have never experienced noticeable side effects.

I read that putting a small bar of soap in a sock under your sheets at night helps leg cramps, I tried it and it works.

My sister in-law went to her doctor, and he recommend tonic water with quinine for her pain in her feet. As I have the same pain but not only in my feet all over my body muscles, I start drinking like 6 oz. every night, and let's me tell you it has worked for me. I feel much better. MIRACULOUS!!!

I tried some Indian Tonic Water which has quinine in it and I was doubling up in pain all night with severe stomach cramps.

I am a ballet dancer/teacher and have suffered arch and calf cramps since I was a child. The quickest relief is to stretch and hold the cramped muscle in the opposite direction. But the past year I have been experiencing excruciating inner thigh leg cramp that wake me up in the middle of the night. There is no stretch I have been able to find to relieve it.

Years ago a pharmacist recommend quinine tablets used to treat malaria to relieve cramps. It worked so well I thought I would try it again, but alas found out they were no longer available. I resorted to diet tonic water and it appeared to be working. On the days I remembered to drink it I never had the bad inner thigh leg cramps. But I have discovered I am extremely stopped up, to the point of not having a bm for over a week. I was wondering if anyone else experienced this particular side effect? Now when my husband tells me I'm full of it I know he is telling the truth. I have also had trouble sleeping.

I've reviewed your site several times when I had problems and find it very helpful. Thank you for caring for people like us who are constantly seeking the most natural way to help with out physical problems and not rely on the pharmaceutical companies for our sustenance.

Keep up the good work!

I also have night leg cramps. I should say I used to have them. I read that drinking a lot of water will help to deter leg cramps and I must say that it does work. Many years ago a doctor gave me a prescription for quinine and that helped even more but they don't prescribed it anymore because of all these FDA warnings. About two months ago I found tonic water with quinine.

I'm still trying to drink a lot of water but the ratio is 1/2 water to 1/4 quinine to 1/4 flavored water with a little Splenda to take away the bitterness. This combination works well for me but I'm still careful at night when I turn over because stretching my legs is what caused those ungodly leg cramps that went all the way up to my thigh.

I suffered from VERY severe inner thigh cramps for years until about 5 months ago when I learned of tonic water. I have been drinking a glass a day since then and haven't had an INNER THIGH CRAMP since.

What is odd however is that is does not help to reduce cramping in other parts of the body- only the horrible thigh cramps. Has anyone else had this experience?

I was prescribed quinine for leg cramps. Took 1 pill and nearly died. I went to the emergency room and it had already started shutting down my liver. Then my kidneys were next. My family was all called in because they said I would not live. by Gods grace I am alive, after a month of hospitalization, dialysis, and a lot of prayer. But I will never eat or drink ANYTHING with quinine in it. You never know what it can do to you. Concerned .

I had used quinine capsules (tasteless) for leg cramps for years until they were replaced with tablets which are unbelievably horrid. Tried the soap for a while and it worked (suspect it MUST be new soap).

However if tonic water works (and I have no personal fear of quinine), I'll use tonic water - especially in view of reports of how quickly it works.

I am happily "addicted" to your newspaper columns and to this computer page. Please, never stop.

Thank you
Naomi B.

Sufered leg cramps for years. Personal physician recommended Tonic Water. Works great. However, have had back pain and was talking Aleve in the proper dosage (2 tablets a day - one in morning and one in evening). Currently being treated for loss of hearing in left ear. When I researched the ear problem and possibility it was caused by Aleve, I found that Aleve was an ototoxic drug and so was quinine. Even though I was taking the correct amount of Aleve, it is possible that because of the quinine in Tonic Water, that I was overdosing. I am very sensitive to drugs. May not cause another person problems, but everyone should check side effects of drugs (OTC and prescribed) before taking. All info in not always on bottle.

Several years ago my personal physician told me about tonic water and it has helped control leg cramps whenever needed. However, it has been quite a while since this happened to me again. To my surprise, when I started drinking only about a quarter of a cup of tonic water mixed in a glass of iced tea or juice in the evening, the pain in my lower back and hips also disappeared! Since I am a healthy, active senior citizen who enjoys working in the yard and taking care of my plants, trees and flowers, etc., this is a real blessing for me.

Tonic water helped me for leg cramps, it helped more when Potassium 150mg was in mixer brand. I could not find this brand in any store this year.

I'm just hapy to read that i'm not the only person to get muscle spasms allover my body... i get them when i yawn many times. yes, when i bend over for more than 30sec, my abdomen spasms. hands feet back, legs. the worst is the thigh spasm, mostly @ night. they last 7min. nothing helps once they start.

many times the opposite leg starts spasming in lower leg ,foot to shin. tonic water does help prevent the night attacks when i drink it. i've acquired a taste for it without juices.

i have started taking the PM Leg Cramp from Hyland dissolvable tabs & been taking 3 which help me fall asleep better. the total body spasms have increased with age. started more after menopause. my blood work has always been wnl.

I take calcium-600mg & recently started a magnesium-250mg & potassium tab- 99mg before bed. I do see my chiropractor every couple months esp when my hands start & the adjustments definitely help. no, i don't eat fruit every day which i know i should. i'm 64yrs with pre-hypertension & starting with diabetes 2. am healthy cept for insomnia nights like this & fear of the night spasms.

Drinking half a liter of tonic water twice a day is more than sufficient for most sufferers of muscle cramping, BUT - beware that quinine has varying deleterious effects on some people, and can be quite dangerous for those with even a mild allergy to it. Quinine affects the liver, the renal system (kidneys), and the heart, and should only be tried with clearance from one's physician. Even in the low amounts of store bought tonic water, drinking too much may cause adverse effects.

Quinine in any other form, tablets, capsules, etc. should only be used after completely discussing such with one's physician, heart doctor, and any other medical care providers one may have. There is a reason the FDA has not condoned the use of quinine for anything other than uncomplicated malaria. Here's a link from July, 2010 about the warning the FDA issued regarding quinine: http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jul/08/news/la-heb-fda-quinine-qualaquin-cramps-20100708

I have just recently started drinking Tonic Water find it refreshing with a slice of lemon or lime.. However since I started drinking the carbonated stuff I have been getting Nocte Leg Calf Muscles cramp... since I started drinking the stuff and this happens everytim.. This has occurred on several occasions now...

I thought Quinine was supposed to stop Calf night time cramps not induce them!

.. Why is this? could it be I am not getting enough potassium or losing it due to the peeing.. I take diuretics daily frusemide 20mgs..

Its having an adverse effect on me the quinine in the tonic water? it seems or its a coincidence..

Wow! I thought I had a unique discomfort at night. Just this week I told my doctor about my toes cramping at bedtime. She said: "oh just drink quinine water." She did not tell me how, and I didn't think to ask. Now that I've researched quinine water, I see I am not alone and I've learned a whole bunch of stuff...:-). Thanks for posting your experiences all-you-leg-crampers.

I am a big fan of tonic water with quinine. I am a suffer of leg and feet cramps. One night being out with a friend of mine, my legs began to tighten up. I had asked him to stop at the local drug store so I could purchase some advil, he told me he would go in and get me some tonic water. He told me that he went to the pharmacist and told her what I was experiencing and she recommend the tonic water with quinine in it. Since then, whenever I get any kind of cramping in my body---I drink tonic water with quinine.

Any thing over done is not good for us. However, that being said, my leg
spasms/cramps as many have stated warranted me trying the tonic water/quinine and I have had great, positive results. One can and bam I can feel the cramps starting to disappear. Been using a can of the tonic and equal amount of simple tap water. Thus 20 to 24 ounces of beverage seem to work rather fast.

take potassium, magnesium and drink about 40-80 oz of water a day and you will have ZERO CRAMPS. that will fix cramps.

I have been suffering from guttate psoriasis and in researching it I saw that certain antimalarial medications can trigger onset of the psoriasis. I drink quite a bit of diet tonic water and remembered that quinine (which is found in tonic water in small doses) is an antimalarial. Is there anything in studies that connects outbreaks of guttate psoriasis with the consumption of tonic water?

having been to my G P for banging in the ears I was prescribed steriod ear drops and went to see a specialist at the hospital in Thame. The banging stopped suddenly for about 1 month and then began again when I drank bitter lemon drink purchased from Lidl.. On reading the label I realized that it contained quinine. Someone I met on holiday had suggested this may be the reason.

I wonder why the specialist did not ask if i drank drinks containing quinine.

Your article has been useful and the drinks are down the drain
Gill B.

My doctor told me about the soap under the sheet between me and the mattress. IT WORKS!! No leg cramps for months now!!

If you are taking statins, then do not take quinine, no matter how small the dose. It can cause arrythmia which in turn can cause fainting. NOT GOOD when you're driving a car! (speaking from personal experience here.)

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: The combination of a statin with quinine increases the risk of a bad reaction in the muscles.

I use quinine successfully for foot cramps with no side effects. I mix 1/2 orange juice with half tonic water. I drink it once a day. 6 oz. does the job. Good Luck

a friend suggested tonic water for my restless leg problem. I mixed it first with fruit juice but now have found quinine tonics online that you can mix with fruit juice for a non-carbonated, and quite tasty solution to this problem! maybe because it works! And it works fast.

I find this interesting; years ago when I was small (up to about 13 years of age) you could buy quinine in a bottle from the chemist; every time I had a cough or cold my mother would send me off to school after I had had a tablespoonful of neat quinine and sugar - same when I came home and same before bed.

I'm just wondering what deficiency I might have because of that.

I took quinine tabs when they were available and they were great.

I use the soap under the sheet now. Any kind works although some are bumpy/oddly shaped.

Sometimes they move down to the foot of the bed, past where my feet are and then I get a cramp. At that point, a drink of diet tonic water is the cure and I keep a bottle of now-flat (all the fizz is gone but the tonic remains!) tonic water in the bathroom.

This works well.

I have been reading the comments about quinine cramp relief and the potential side effects.

Some years ago I was prescribed a 200mg dose to be taking before bedtime. I got no relief but loved the bitter taste of quinine so much I started chewing the tables. After about three weeks and still no relief, I doubled the dose to 400 mg. It seemed to help marginally at the increased dose, and I was pleased with two pills to crunch for that bitter taste I love so much. After about one month the slight relief I had from 400 mg had worn off so I added another 200 mg to my nightly dose. Finally, I got excellent relief from my nightly leg cramps, and of course with 600 mg of tasty bitter quinine to chew, I was delighted.

I never had any side effects from 600 mg and even added half a pill to that after another month or so as the effect had lessened.

Now it's not easy to get a prescription for quinine so I drink 6 liters of Tonic water every day. It seems to work better and that bitter taste is great all day long.

People's Pharmacy response: Some people would develop unpleasant side effects as a consequence of that much tonic water. Rashes, neurological complications, and blood disorders have all been reported. So much tonic water could also make a person more susceptible to sunburn.

Does tonic water come in diet?

I am a 72-year old male who suffers inner thigh, hamstring, and calf charley horse type muscle contractions, mostly in the early morning around 3:00 am.

It is caused by a diuretic (Aldactone) and over exertion from swimming with large swim fins and long walks every day. I also take Lioresal, a muscle relaxant; however, it offers little help.

I wish not to cut back on exercising, as this is the only pleasurable part of my aging existence.

This morning I drank a glass of quinine tonic water and took a salt tablet after suffering continuous inner thigh muscle contractions, all of which are extremely painful.

It is 0200 now and the spasms have not returned, but I am afraid to sleep again as this usually causes a recurrence of these painful charley horse contractions.

It appears to work even though the taste of this quinine tonic water is horrible.

This forum is very helpful as I see that I am not alone with this problem.


Does anyone know the names of the pharmacies that carry the Tonic water with Quinine in it?

I am 54 years old and I have suffered for more than 20 years with RLS. Early on the doctors prescribed Requip (a parkinson's disease medication), which is expensive and which also had to be upped regularly until I was taking fairly large doses. I now have gone off the Requip altogether. I drink 1/2-1 ounce of tonic water in juice 1/2 hour before bed every night and have had absolutely no twitches, creepy crawleys or any other symptom of RLS. The amount I take is very small, but works great.

Unless you have a predisposition to side effects from Quinine I highly recommend it instead of prescriptions that definitely have side effects, some severe. I hope this helps someone out there.

Dear Paul 43:

I buy my tonic water at Wal-Mart (their brand). As far as I know, all tonic water contains Quinine.

Scweppes tonic water in glass bottles is available at several grocery stores. It's sold in plastic bottles at Wal-Mart for a buck. I got hooked on the flavor of it with fresh lime. I was curious if there were any concerns about consuming the water. I discovered this site which answered my concerns.

I also drink tonic water with quinine for my restless legs syndrome. I had to stop taking the medication I was taking for the problem because it turns out I am in a small percentage of people that get the side effects of swollen ankles and calves that are pink and warm to the touch. After my doctor took me off the medication, the swelling, pinkness and warmness went away.

tonic water with quinine is sold in most grocery store's in the soda section

Dear oh dear, tonic with cranberry juice ??? Try it with gin!
Added benefit of the alcohol... I suffered from restless legs for years, now I have a gin and tonic in the evening and no more restless legs... I know that when I don't have one it comes back.

I have been using tonic water for two years. I have gotten very good results from leg cramps. I have suffered from urinary infections for 8 to 10 years. I have not had any reoccurrence of urinary infections in the last 2 years since I started drinking four ounces of tonic water a day.

I think I'm allergic to quinine. I find I get headaches while drinking vodka or gin with tonic while drinking and morning after is this possible?

I began drinking Tonic Water a small amount regularly. I suffer from restless leg syndrome and have found drinking Tonic Water prevents my irritation.

Hi, I am on chronic medication for hypertension and cholesterol. I take crestor rosuvastatin, enalapril, maleate and ten bloka. I also drink a lot of tonic water containing quinine. Recently I am having a lot of palpitations of the heart. could my medication be reacting with quinine? thank you

I suspect that it is the water that does the trick and not the quinine. Try drinking just the water. I have read before somewhere that leg cramps is a sign of a lack of water in your body. Isn't that interesting! I believe it. I have tried it. Give it a good try.

I am 64 years old and have suffered with leg cramps all my life. When I was much younger I could buy quinine in any drug store for $3.99 a bottle. I was concerned about the side effects but discovered tonic water. I have taken a glass of this every other night and my leg cramps are no more. If I don't do this they are back within two weeks.

Anyone who has never had these cramps do not understand the pain, which in my case, lasts for two days. I have been told by Dr,s that I need magnesium. I have been there, done that....it does not work for me. If the F.D.A. ever bans the small amount of quinine in tonic water...I will go out and buy every bottle I can find and store it in my cellar!

I have been diagnosed with severe leg cramps a year ago, however I do not have a prescription plan to pay for the heavy duty narcotics that the doctor put me on. I started using Hylands leg cramp pills a year ago taking two pills twice a day, and have had no issues what so ever. I didn't know that the quinine was taken out of the leg cramp pills until two nights ago I awoke in screaming agony and both of my legs were in spasm from my hips to my toes, I could not breathe through the pain hyperventilated and passed out. I cant believe they don't realize how much this NATURAL remedy is needed for people like me. I went to the pharmacy today and of course you can only get it now with a prescription.

My mother is 77 and just recently started drinking tonic water. She said she noticed that the leg pain from muscle cramps she's suffered from for years, along with ankle pain noticeably improved since she started drinking tonic water every night---actually, the cramping and pain disappeared completely. She started drinking tonic with a splash of vodka since her husband passed away to help the anxiety and allow her to sleep. She's tiny, and doesn't drink enough vodka to get a fly drunk, lol, but she didn't know anything about the use of quinine for muscle cramps, so the placebo effect wouldn't be a factor.

If the quinine fails to work, a cloth dipped in water as hot as you can stand, draped over the leg muscle also is an instant cure for Charlie horse. I'm fortunate in that the quinine has no adverse effect on me, and my Dr still prescribes it.

Yes

I am a dialysis patient and suffer from leg cramps quite often while in treatment. I find that the only thing that helped was quinine. Now that it is not available, I have nothing else that works. I had no ill effects from the use of quinine and wish it was still available, would make life a lot easier.

Having severe stomach cramps and abdominal pain after drinking tonic water containing quinine. Ears are ringing also. Be aware of the possibility of allergic reactions to quinine in tonic water.

The headache could be from the alcohol. It's a poison. I wouldn't be so quick to blame the quinine.

I really enjoyed really your information. It is very easy to understand.

I had rls but recently was found to be anemic. Within a week of taking iron supplements I had no more leg problems!

I have restless leg syndrome for some time, I take requip, it helps. I'm also a diabetic, feet and legs hurt always almost unbearable. I use to get leg cramps to where my leg muscles tie into knots. I also have cirrhosis of the liver. My doctor, a liver specialist, told me to drink diet tonic water that the quinine would help my pain and cramps, unfortunately it has not. My question is if it's safe with my health problems? I take other meds. for liver, prostate, etc. and can't take muscle or pain meds. Is there any natural remedy? I don't drink alcohol or mind altering stuff. I take zolpidem, helps to sleep! I am 65yrs of age.

Schweppes bitter lemon also contains a small amount of quinine.

I suffer extreme leg cramps, painful beyond screaming. I drink Schweppes tonic water; not slimline; and eat bananas; a couple of tumblers of tonic and 2 bananas a day stops them just about completely. If I miss either the cramps reappear within a day or two. (I am 68)

This works for me but reading previous comments it seems quite personal but I would seriously recommend trying the combination. (hope this helps you fellow sufferers)

I switched to potato vodka and tonic as my libation of choice when diagnosed with Celiacs. For a while all was fine but then I began having a debilitating and painful itch all over my body. Over a year later and after spending hundreds on allergy testing and medications, I think you may have diagnosed my problem. I am, as of today, off that tasty Schwepps tonic. If the quinine has been my problem I will be eternally grateful. Stay tuned for my update.

I have a mild allergy to quinine but enjoy a bit of tonic water from time to time--went on your site to read more about side effects. I was surprised to read about the leg cramp issue. I have taken magnesium supplements for years for leg cramps--why is this not better known??

Just go buy a bottle of Magnesium (Malate is best) at the health food store; or Potassium/Magnesium/Zinc combos are also available--but straight Magnesium does the trick. Run don't walk to find yourself a copy of THE "bible" by Adele Davis called "Let's Get Well." This book has saved my life--I've had it for 45 years. Google it or find it on Amazon. Thanks for letting me leave a comment here. Best regards.

I've been drinking plane tonic water for 10years or so and I've never had a problem.

you all have helped me with my RLS problem, thanks for tonic water, it works.

Can Quin. water help with pain in joints?
If not, what does?

I am 68 years young and a avid motorcycle rider. For about 9 to 10 years I have sufferd from body cramps meaning fingers, legs, feet, shins, when they hit it is like being struck with a ball bat and when riding a motorcycle one can't always stop to care for the cramp. I have seen 4 different Doctors on this cramp thing no one has said any thing about quinine, it wasn't until I was taking to group of friends when one said to take quinine, well to day I went to a Doctors appointment with a new Dr. an when I mention quinine she said try it and see and to night I ran into your site and found out I'm not crazy and other people suffer with body cramps also. Great site and thanks to the people who have left comments.

I recently heard and tried a teaspoon of mustard for my cramps and it worked like a miracle too!!! A tablespoon of pickle water also works great!!

I was suffering from severe leg cramps when I would sit for a long period of time or when I would go to bed. A friend suggested Tonic water with quinine.

When I feel cramps coming on I drink a glass of Tonic water and the symptoms or cramps disappear almost immediately. The low doses will generally have no side effects.

how long is tonic water safe to drink? Bought several cartons of Schweppes Tonic water yrs. ago for party, not all consumed, and just stored away. Can I safely use it now?

I recently started getting leg cramps from over working my legs doing all day yard work. My friend told me drinking a glass of milk helps. It did as milk has potassium. I also was advised by Medical to drink Tonic with Quinine so I bought Tonic Water with Lime by Polar and it has Quinine in very small amount. It worked too preventing leg cramps after I felt them coming on. I now do stretching daily. I also take Magnesium supplement that helps. Eveyone is different. I also pray asking the Lord to help me in the name of Jesus. The Bible Quote, Jesus said if you ask the Father anything in my name he will give it to you according to his will. He gives us wisdom.

I drink a great deal of quinine water every day. i much prefer it to seltzer. I do not drink alcohol at all so I have to drink something I enjoy.

It does take care of RLS. So ... drinking it is my risk behavior of choice. We all have chances to pick our poison. I have made one of mine.

No side effects yet.

So there you have it.

You keep mentioning quinine for leg CRAMPS, but when i searched on google, it
was not for leg cramps that I was looking for but rather RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME. they are not the same thing and no where do you mention whether this will also help for RLS.

Tonic water works and so does apple cider vinegar and pedialyte. I was getting severe leg cramps on the outside of my calf and in the back of the calf. I was drinking about 60 oz or more of water a day but didn't feel hydrated. I looked into this online and found I was probably not getting electrolytes. All of the things I mentioned work as well as lemon or lime in water. I also take a multivitamin, magnesium and calcium. Leg cramps are at bay as long as I follow these guidelines.

I get cramps in my fingers when I'm using them like eating or crocheting it's painful!
My doctor told me to drink soda water with quinine. he didn't tell me how much to drink. can you help me?

I don't know how bad it tastes.

I have just been prescribed Quinine for muscle cramp in my top thighs.
I hate Tonic Water as it reminds me of Andrews Liver Salts.
Now I'm wondering if I should use them or not!!!

Very informative site! I just drank my first tonic water last night, but it didn't work for me. I'll try it again tonight. I.'m on dialysis and should not eat bananas, which I believe helps for RLS. Thank you For all your comments.

What you guys/gals want is a nice Dubonnet and gin (the Queen's favourite drink). Or, y'know, just the Dubonnet if you want less fun and just to get rid of cramping. Dubonnet was invented as a way to get French soldiers to take quinine in amounts that are enough to protect against malaria but not dangerous.

actually my experience with RLS also found relief from a glass of tonic water. Depending on how severe the attack is I can usually damp down the RLS feeling by having a tumbler full of quinine water.

Tryptophan also used to be effective but as you may know this harmless amino acid is no longer available due to the misguided diligence of the FDA which banned it after a scare caused by a contaminated batch made its way to health food shops.

I believe that the FDA practice of banning certain natural compounds in spite of their obvious therapeutic benefit is a direct result of influence by corporate pharmaceutical companies, which after all practically run the FDA, in order to eliminate competition in the OTC market. So much for America's free and open market place, eh?

What your friends really need are electrolytes. The easiest way is adding celtic salt (which will be grey in color) to the water they drink. And not to become dehydrated.

I recently have been having leg cramps and my doctor suggested to try tonic water and the very first glass I drank immediately brought relieve to the pain on both my legs. Taking a glass just before bed helps you to have a peaceful sleep also.

Hi Joy, I am currently being investigated for unexplained Syncope (Fainting) I am not on any other medication i.e. statins and the only change in my diet in the past 6 months has been drinking Tonic Water on a daily basis. You mentioned you have had experience of fainting, how did you diagnose the cause as being the Quinine? Thanking you in advance

No wonder I feel better after drinking tonic water and after a week I'm so refreshed and clean. However, quinine tastes awful, raccoon *beep* really. :/ The first time I drank the tonic water that stated it had quinine I felt like I was drinking the green NyQuil. :P My face surely contorted with disgust. I know use an acai water flavoring to cancel-out that medicine bitter (bitter can't described how awful this tastes). I know that quinine is good for me because after drinking the 12 oz bottle I don't get the leg issues I always suffer from (retained fluids, inflammation/swelling, cramps, sleepiness, numb feel). The leg issues that causes for concerns are no more... thank goodness. I feared I would have to go under the knife and out up my legs to relieve the pressure from the inflammations and trapped fluids. Anyways hold my taste buds and nose, down the hatchet it does, one nasty quinine tonic water will definitely keep the surgeons away.

I began having leg cramps at night after having peripheral neuropathy. I mentioned it to a friend and he gave me an eight ounce bottle of tonic water telling me it will relieve the cramps quickly. That night I had a bad cramp and took two sips, within a minute the cramp stopped. Toward morning had another cramp, took another sip of tonic water, like magic, cramp gone almost instantly.

Now I hear it will interfere with my thyroid medicine and cause other problems. Does anyone know how many people drink gin and tonic as their favorite drink? I know several and nothing bad has come of it. I will continue to take a sip or two if I have leg cramps and doubt that little will interfere with my thyroid medicine.

I would think that the FDA would remove quinine from shelves and some other govt agency would ban it from being added to tonic water were it really dangerous. Of course I am saying this hoping I am right since leg cramps are the most painful thing I have ever endured.

I was told about quinine in tonic water by a friend last week after suffering very bad cramp in my calf, which left my calf permanently painful. The pain disappeared almost immediately after drinking a couple of glasses of tonic water.

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