Q. My doctor prescribed quinine for my leg cramps. With all the controversy and severe reactions described online, not to mention the FDA position on it, I am reluctant to try it. I have been in dire straits for weeks and I don’t know what else to do.
I am already taking magnesium, vitamin B12, vitamin D3, fish oil and valerian root with no relief. I’m at the end of my rope, and doctors don’t seem to want to help with this. What do you suggest?
A. The FDA forbids the use of quinine for leg cramps because it can cause life-threatening reactions affecting the blood. As a result, doctors have little to offer people with painful leg cramps. Although sensitive people may suffer a reaction from drinking tonic water, that is one form in which quinine is still available.
Other readers have offered their own solutions, and we provide them in our Guide to Leg Pain. Some options to swallow include low-sodium V8 juice, yellow mustard or apple cider vinegar and honey in warm water. Stretching the muscles before bed can often help, and we have detailed instructions.