The People's Perspective on Medicine

Is Quinine in Tonic Water Safe?

The pros and cons of quinine make tonic water a challenging choice for many people in their fight against leg cramps. What else works for muscle cramps?

Quinine is bitter. It gives tonic water a distinctive flavor. People who love gin and tonic savor the unique tang of this drink, especially if you throw in a lime or lemon wedge. Just a few decades ago, ago you could buy quinine pills over the counter in most pharmacies under brand names like Legatrin, Quinamm and Q-vel. But the Food and Drug Administration banned the use of OTC quinine to treat leg cramps in 1994. Although this drug has been available for centuries, the FDA has determined that it is far too dangerous to use for anything but malaria. See this link for more information on the ban.

Quinine Dangers:

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 hemorrhage. A review a few years ago turned up 142 patients with acute immune-mediated reactions (American Journal of Hematology, May 2016). They experienced chills, fever, dangerously low blood pressure and a range of very serious vascular problems. Ninety percent of them had to be hospitalized for severe illness. While almost three-fourths had taken quinine pills, about 20 percent had consumed quinine-containing beverages. Three of these patients died. 

Another report covered a case series of 19 patients who reacted badly to quinine (American Journal of Kidney Diseases, Nov. 2017). One person died before treatment; 17 required renal dialysis. Despite this treatment, 8 of these people died. A serious quinine reaction can be deadly.

With that context, it’s easier to understand why the FDA ordered drug companies to stop selling quinine for anything but malaria in 2007. Only one product was allowed. Qualaquin can be prescribed by physicians, but the cost is high. One pill of Qualaquin could cost over $7. That could make sense for a drug to treat malaria, which is rare in the US. Muscle cramps are anything but rare.

Any physician who prescribes Qualaquin for leg cramps could risk the wrath of the FDA.

On July 8, 2010, the agency issued the following warning.

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today warned that the unapproved use of the malaria drug Qualaquin (quinine sulfate) to treat night time leg cramps has resulted in serious side effects and prompted the manufacturer to develop a risk management plan aimed at educating health care professionals and patients about the potential risks.

“Qualaquin is not FDA-approved to treat or prevent night time leg cramps.

“A review of reports submitted to the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS) between April 2005 and Oct. 1, 2008, found 38 U.S. cases of serious side effects associated with the use of quinine, the active drug in Qualaquin.

“Quinine use resulted in serious and life-threatening reactions in 24 cases, including low level of platelets in the blood (thrombocytopenia), and hemolytic uremic syndrome/thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, a blood disorder that results in clots in small blood vessels around the body that can be accompanied by kidney impairment.

“In some patients, these side effects resulted in permanent kidney impairment and hospitalization. Two patients died. Most of those reporting serious side effects took the drug to prevent or treat leg cramps or restless leg syndrome.”

What About Tonic Water?

Clearly, quinine can be dangerous for some individuals, but the FDA has not banned quinine from tonic water. To do so would make the FDA a laughing stock. It would also aggravate millions of people who like gin and tonic…or just plain tonic. It is an acquired taste, but some people really like it. It’s also possible that the FDA doesn’t consider tonic water a danger to public health.

Join over 150,000 subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

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 of tonic would only have about 20 mg of quinine, considerably less than the dose that used to be prescribed by doctors for leg cramps (200 to 300 mg).

Does Tonic Water Work for Muscle Cramps?

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.”

Carmel in New York reports: 

“I had horrible cramps in my legs. I have been drinking several glasses of tonic water for the past 3 or 4 weeks and surprisingly the cramping has subsided. At least now I can sleep the night. It’s not too bad tasting with lime.”

 Mariza in Los Angeles shares this experience:

“I too used to have such intense legs cramps leaving me writhing in pain. They could occur daily, day or night. I couldn’t even flex my leg muscles. I learned to deal with it by drinking a glass of tonic water, but only after the pain had already started.”

Even Tonic Water Has Some Hazards:

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.

There are those who are so sensitive that even a little bit of quinine could prove life threatening.

“Quinine in tonic water proved almost fatal for me. Nighttime leg cramps have been an ongoing problem, so I bought a bottle of tonic water.

“On Saturday I had a 5-ounce glass before supper. Sunday morning by 9 am I was in the emergency room with a frightening skin reaction. I was hospitalized for many days and diagnosed with a dangerous blood disorder called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). My hematologist said it was triggered by the quinine water.”

We have also heard from people who developed tinnitus after drinking tonic:

“I have just developed a hissing sound in my ears. The onset was very rapid! The doctor diagnosed it as tinnitus, but would give me no reason for the problem. He said there wasn’t anything I could do. I’ve noticed some days it is less disturbing than others but some nights it awakens me because it has become so loud.

“I was drinking large quantities of tonic water, which contains quinine, when this started. Do you have any suggestions to help me?”

The quinine in tonic water is the likely culprit. Ringing or hissing in the ears can be a complication of quinine. Stop drinking tonic water altogether if you detect tinnitus.

What About Buying Quinine from Canada?

Over the last two decades we have heard from many people who are upset that they can no longer buy quinine. Many say that this drug is the only thing that works for leg cramps. One reader reported that there wasn’t enough quinine in tonic water to do the job. He discovered that he could buy quinine from Canadian pharmacies. Here is a link to that article with some additional insights on the pros and cons of quinine. 

Why Can You Buy Quinine in Canada But Not the US?

What Else Can You Do for Leg Cramps?

For people who cannot tolerate or stand the taste of tonic water, there are alternatives. The FDA has approved no medications for easing leg cramps. That means most doctors have very little to offer patients in pain.

Judy in Issaquah, Washington, did get some intriguing advice from her doctor:

“I was prescribed quinine tablets 5 years ago for my leg cramps. I had to get them from a Canadian pharmacy and they worked wonders. However, one should not take this drug forever and my doctor didn’t want to renew the prescription.

“When I ran out of pills, I immediately starting having leg cramps again. Some nights I would have as many as 10. Horrible, horrible.

“Then another doctor suggested putting Irish Spring hand soap under my bottom sheet. It works wonders. The only problem is that after about 5 days, I might get a tiny little cramp and I know it is time to shave the soap bar. I prefer this to taking more pills like the quinine or magnesium (which did not ever work for me).”

We were fascinated to read that a physician would recommend soap under the bottom sheet to prevent leg cramps. Most health professionals scoff at this home remedy. We have received numerous comments that this must be a placebo effect. That’s because these people have not considered a possible mechanism. We recently explained how soap could work to prevent leg cramps in this article.

Other Ways to Overcome Leg Cramps:

Thanks to a Nobel prize winner (Rod MacKinnon, MD) and his neurobiologist colleague Bruce Bean, PhD, we now have an explanation for how things like a spoonful of mustard make muscle cramps go away within a couple of minutes.

It all has to do with stimulating sensory nerves in the mouth, throat and stomach. That probably explains why mustard, quinine and pickle juice are so effective at relieving muscle cramps promptly. If you would like to learn a lot more about how to get relief from nocturnal leg cramps, our Guide to Leg Pain has instructions on stretching as well as a range of remedies. You will also find lots of suggestions in our 264-page book from National Geographic, The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies: Q&As for Your Common Ailments.

Share your own solutions to leg cramps and your experience with tonic water in the comment section below.

Rate this article
3.6- 448 ratings
About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
People’s Pharmacy Bed Soap

So many readers have told us that soap under the bottom sheet wards off leg cramps that we tried it ourselves. It works for us! To make it more comfortable, we developed flat People's Pharmacy Bed Soap.

People’s Pharmacy Bed Soap
  • Liles NW et al, "Diversity and severity of adverse reactions to quinine: A systematic review." American Journal of Hematology, May 2016. DOI: 10.1002/ajh.24314
  • Page EE et al, "Quinine-induced thrombotic microangiopathy: A report of 19 patients." American Journal of Kidney Diseases, Nov. 2017. DOI: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2017.05.023
Join over 150,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

We're empowering you to make wise decisions about your own health, by providing you with essential health information about both medical and alternative treatment options.

comments (238 total)
Add your comment

Instead of wondering if quinine might be harmful, try yellow mustard. A spoonful of it kills my leg cramps before I can get back to my bedroom. I understand that pickle juice does the same for some people. Both are easy and very low risk. I now keep little mustard packets from a fast food restaurant on the bedside table.

I would also caution against drinking quinine for those who are subject to blood sugar drops. I never had a problem with tonic water before, perhaps because it contains sugar, but a few years ago I had a “natural” commercially sold tonic water with stevia and had a severe reaction that I believe was a drop in blood sugar (sweating, very hungry, very ill-at ease). I think the combination of quinine and artificial sugar was what caused it. I looked up quinine, and it affects blood sugar, unbeknownst to me, as does artificial sugar.

I was working an unbelievably boring, repetitious data entry job. I started drinking a highly-caffeinated drink in the afternoons to keep from falling asleep. One night I had an extremely severe cramp in my calf. The muscle was so tight there was no curve to my lower leg; the leg was the same diameter from knee to ankle. It was agony.

It was then I learned mega doses of caffeine can cause cramps. I am grateful my physician was able to prescribe quinine. I took a quinine pill every day for a year. It took a whole year’s recovery before I could stop the medication.

A spoonful of mustard works every time! The cramp goes away within a minute. I picked up this bit of info from here on Peoples Pharmacy. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Magnesium tablets don’t work well for me, however magnesium topical spray works very well. Thank u for the info & the forum.


Most of the tonic water sold in the U.S. has zero quinine, including Schweppes. But it does have massive amounts of sugar, including high fructose corn syrup. Love real quinine tonic. I drank tonic water overseas but the sugar water sold in the states as tonic water is awful. Same is true for ginger ale, sigh. Little ginger but massive amounts of sugar.

If Quinine is so dangerous, why does the FDA allow it to be in an uncontrolled, sold over the counter, with no warning label Tonic Water? Because people like the taste as suggested in the article seems like a ridiculous reason to me. A few years ago I complained about leg cramps at night and my kind doctor went to the store and bought me some Tonic Water with Quinine and said that his mother had used it for years. It was a miracle cure for me. I buy it in the small 8 oz bottles and at the first cramp when I jump out of bed, I drink a bottle of the Tonic and I can then go back to a peaceful sleep. If I am out of Tonic Water, I will have cramp after cramp. After jumping out of bed several times to stop the pain, my husband has run to the store in the middle of the night to buy more Tonic Water. I had a friend recommend magnesium supplements, so I tried it and it didn’t work for me.

I have try tonic water for leg cramps and it work for me also a pharmacist recommended mustard and it work for cramps I am so thankful for your advice.

My Doctor stopped me from taking Quinine which I used for horrendous leg cramps, sometime getting them in both my legs at the same time. I was always told one would have to drink so much Tonic Water with Quinine something that would be hard to do. The leg cramps were so painful and my Husband would try to relieve them for me. I would scream in pain and even said certain things that I would never think of saying or doing.

One day, I had about 20 or so Leg Cramps and I told him I will try the Canada Dry Tonic Water with Quinine. I drank about 10 – 12 ounces that night and no leg cramps the next day. I drink 10-12 ounces of this Tonic water during the day all at once not even taking a breath and gulp it down for the last 6 months or so and only have had 2 leg cramps one being June 13, 2018. So that day I drank a few ounces more. I hated drinking this tonic water as it is awful.

I decided to let it get to room temperature and sometimes I drink it all at dinner. So my advice is TRY IT – IT WORKS FOR ME and do it at ROOM TEMPERATURE. There are no words to describe how I feel not having those horrendous leg cramps and how happy my Husband is. BTW: They sell it in Diet!

Leg cramps can be painful if you are on a dialysis treatment. The best advice I can offer is to have someone massage the leg and have the technician administer saline into your blood flow. It will work but minutes always feel like hours.

Hello, I started drinking tonic water w/quinine about 10 months ago. I only drank tonic water. No water at all. So I would drink about 2 to 3 liters a day. I thought it was quenching my thirst and it was healthy. Little did i know that it was affecting my heart, my blood, and my kidneys. I had gone into the hospital twice with a-fib and they had to shock my heart back into normal heartbeat. Then i had to be put on heart medications.

Suddenly my kidneys were not doing well and my blood platelets were low. I figured it out when i went online and looked up quinine and the dangers. I have been creating my own health problems with ingesting large doses of quinine. I was also in the hospital 6 times in one week with severe nosebleeds that could not be stopped.

It all makes perfect sense now. Please do not drink tonic water with quinine as a beverage like I did. It can take your life and make you very very sick.

We buy a product that has been on the market for leg cramps: apple cider vinegar found at any health food or grocery store in the vitamin section. It works in seconds when rubbed into the skin. Will try it for restless leg syndrome. Mustard works well also.

If I hadn’t read your article I might have continued using tonic. I have a swollen liver, I had a rash and I have ringing in the ears. Thank you for this website. I am going to stop drinking tonic. Hopefully, the issues will clear up.

Cataplex F from standard process works like a charm in less than a minute for leg cramps. Chew 1×2 pills…that taste nasty but they work! I have been using these for 4 years and am amazed how quickly they work.

I used to get leg cramps so severe that it literally made me scream. The cramps were either in the foot or calf. I once had it happen in my thigh. The cramps in my feet felt like it could break the bones in my toes. They even resulted in pain that lasted for several days in the affected area, like from a pulled muscle. I had read about plain yellow mustard and pickle juice. I tried a healthy squirt of mustard not expecting any relief. I couldn’t believe complete relief in just a couple of minutes. A couple of minutes is actually a VERY long time when you’re enduring a cramp.

I’ve since taken a preventive dose whenever I get any pre-cramp symptoms with great success. I once got a particularly bad attack and had a shot of mustard that I washed down with pickle juice. It was amazing. The attacks don’t reoccur that night. And in general the attacks have greatly dismissed. I still keep a few packets of yellow mustard on my nightstand. I can’t believe how something so simple has worked so well.

Thank you, for all the comments, and personal experiences. I’ve had severe leg cramps for years, which began as RLS… Tried a small amount of tonic water, with Quinine, and …so far- gone. Will d more research, based on this article. Thanks !!

I too have suffered with severe leg cramps, mostly in the ham string of my thigh. They are so debilitating, I can’t stand, sit, or lie down. On the advice of my doctor, I mixed some tonic water with orange juice and used that for about 3 weeks. Suddenly, I couldn’t walk across a room without finding a chair to sit down. I was short of breath and felt such fatigue. Went to the doctor and he routinely drew blood. I was severely anemic with my hemaglobin at 6.5 . Had a blood transfusion and felt better. The dr. said I must be losing blood somewhere. Had an endoscopy and a colonoscopy. Both were normal. It took a year for my blood to get right again.

Here I am a year later and found some Hyland pills at the pharmacy. I read the label and there was no quinine. I even asked the pharmacist and she said no quinine in them. I began taking them for leg cramps three weeks ago. Same symptoms reappeared as before. Today I had to get a blood transfusion as my hemaglobin had dropped to 6.3 again. I googled the ingredients on the box of Hylands and sure enough, one ingredient was a different name for quinine. Everyone please be wary of taking quinine. I am super sensitive to it and will never ingest it again. I guess I will just live with the leg cramps or try some of the suggestions on this website

In recent years, at times, I had night time leg cramps and I know they are a symptom of some particular health problems, as well as how to cure them. But I have to make a little discourse to explain.

Throughout my life I have been diagnosed with low levels of iron and deficiency of vitamins like B12 or D, but no physician ever tried to go beyond treating a single symptom at a time. At almost 50 I discovered the cause of these problems as well as my persisting diarrhea-like symptoms: Though apparently it’s not a celiac disease I don’t tolerate well wheat and similar grains. Quite likely this is not caused by a specific protein, like gluten or better it’s gliadin fraction, but their unfavorable amino acid composition. Why? The symptoms disappeared within two or three days when I improved my protein supply, e.g. with protein shakes, and after some years have vanished almost completely.

From this experience, I developed a habit of daily taking iron, vitamin B complex, D, and magnesium supplements. But there are times when I forget about that over my workload, which also causes me to drink a cup of rather strong coffee in the morning, to wake up. If that continues for a couple of days I’m likely to experience night time leg cramps, which disappear as soon as I leave off the coffee and again take up my medication.

With all of the meds out there that the FDA approves that cause horrible side affects & are either recalled or facing class action lawsuits & they are worried about “some” people being sensitive to quinine? And instead of making it available in ONLY low doses for leg cramps they make it completely unavailable except in tonic water. Yeah, that makes sense….not.
I have fibromyalgia & lately I have been experiencing severe leg cramps. Baclofen has not relieved them completely but has helped with other fibromyalgia issues I was having. I have used organic cider vinegar (2 tsp. in 8 oz. water) & that did help at one point as did simply eating pickles or drinking the juice. My guess it is the vinegar in that that also helps. I have also tried a holistic OTC product. That also worked for a long while but is less effective recently. They also have a product for restless leg that works very well for me, my brother & my dad who all suffer from restless leg.
But back to the leg cramps, recently my dr. suggested tonic water, 1/2 cp. before bed so I will be trying that hoping it will be successful.

In the mornings when I stretched my legs to go the toilet, both calves and front shins got cramps, and I found it hard to rub. When it did ease off then both big toes also had cramps. Someone suggested Tonic water because it had the ingredient Quinine in it. Had a glass every evening with dash of orange squash. It did work for me but had to leave cap off through the day as I don’t like carbonated drinks normally ?

I used to be on quinine tables for horrendous leg cramps. They worked. Then my Cardio Doctor took me off of them and back to horrendous cramps. After having 20 leg cramps and in both legs sometimes at the same time, I tried the CANADA DRY TONIC WATER with QUININE.

I wish I had tried it earlier when my Cardio Doctor took me off the Quinine tablets. I do not understand taking me off the tablets but I can drink the Tonic Water.

Please read what I wrote on this site so I do not have to write it again. I just say right now DRINKK 10-12 ounces Tonic Water & diet also everyday. I was amazed.

What is wrong with eating bananas in order to boost your potassium levels? Surely that helps?

I am 77 years old and developed severe leg cramps fairly often at night about 2 – 3 years ago. I started drinking more water and taking two Turmeric capsules a day which has helped to slow down the frequency of the cramps. My doctor also recommended trying tonic water, pickle juice or gatorade.

Then just about 2 weeks ago, I was discussing the cramps with some friends on face book and one of them said a sure cure is drink about a Tablespoon of straight “VINEGAR” when leg cramps occur. It is “awful” and sort of upsets my stomach, but the two times I have tried it, the leg cramps have stopped!

I will continue the turmeric capsules and try to stay hydrated to avoid these horrible cramps and use the vinegar if and when they develop. Most of my leg cramps are “not” charlie horses, but occur along the outside of my legs from my knees to my ankles.

My DOCTOR advised me (when I was wanting to not take so many pills for RLS) the drink DIET TONIC WATER and be sure it had the QUININE in it. To mask the bitter taste, she told me to put like lemon or lime slices (even a grape or a berry). I drank and drank it night and day non stop. It did NOT change the RLS problem. I began having horrible stomach churning like my stomach was turning over or doubling over and twisting in on itself. Then more lower intestinal problems like BOTH constipation AND diarrhea at the same time. Then wild dreams and being very tired – sleeping too much. I didn’t know what the causes were or are. So I just stopped taking the Diet Tonic Quinine water. There were 3-5 days of these symptoms continuing but gradually diminishing. Restless Leg Syndrome is just as on going and present as it ever was. ??

I will share my situation. I found this forum while trying to find how to make quinine for myself. I have been using Hylands and tonic water for years. They both helped but I did not use them every day. I talked to my MD several times. My cramps got worse. I would scream and scream, that is all I could do. One day I screamed so loud and long that I herniated my vocal chords. I could not make a sound and I could not move. I was swallowing blood.

While on vacation, my cramps got so bad that I bailed out of the van I was driving and was lying on my back in someones yard screaming in utter agony. My poor mother in law rubbed my legs for hours with Voltaren gel.

Upon returning home, I contacted a nearby compounding pharmacy. They have quinine with magnesium. I needed my doc to write a script, he did. I was amazed at the relief I got. I had never taken magnesium. Fearing not being able to always get the compound, I decided to try OTC Mg. Well, It makes me very sleepy and tears my guts up. I must eat before taking the Mg. It does work for the cramps.

I eventually realized that driving and sitting any time at all with my legs dangling brings on the cramps, as does any form of activity. I had to give up exercising in my pool, because it was too dangerous. I forced myself to become house bound most of the time.

I am now using Mag OX OTC and 10 meq Potassium, Rx. We just did the worlds longest yard sale, some leg discomfort. Drank my powerade, took the Mg and K. I buy several 1 liter bottles of Tonic water every trip to the grocery store. I refuse to live without some form of quinine. I have my bottle of Hylands, a 1 lt bottle of Tonic water and a bottle of Gator Ade by my bed as I am typing this.

If anyone suffered the way I did and did not find help, they must be dead by now. My advise is stay hydrated. Find what works and stick with it.

I really enjoy drinking gin & tonic and tend to drink several at a time. I have changed to drinking tonic water with a slice of lime and a dash of diet sprite (zero). This satisfies my craving for gin & tonic and saves me a bundle. I use real limes or even bottled lime. The tonic water costs 67 cents for a liter and a bottle of Zero lasts many weeks.

With the advice of my doctor to try tonic water for the my severe multiple night time leg cramps I was able to eliminate them by drinking 12 oz. a day.

Gatorade works too — for leg cramps
also — if you do get a cramp ( in your foot / leg ), bend your toes towards the front of your legs to stop it

I mix mio orange with diet tonic water and it taste like the orange crush drink that I grow up with.i keep it beside my bed I never have cramps

I almost never experienced leg cramps until this year. The excruciating pain would propel me right out of bed and would have to be walked off before I could return. Also, I sit at a desk at work and sometimes experienced the same cramping when I absent-mindedly tucked my legs under my chair.

“Dr. Google” suggested a possible potassium deficiency or dehydration, but increasing my water intake and of foods containing potassium did little to fend off the attacks.

Then, while seeing my Primary Care Physician for a regular Wellness visit, I happened to mention the severe leg cramps. He tends toward a more holistic approach, when possible, and suggested I begin mixing Tonic water and juice before going to bed.

The relief was instantaneous! For the first time in a very long while, I was finally able to sleep through the night, go figure!

I experience none of the noticeable side effects mentioned on the web and have to confess, I am a little anxious about some of the more severe side effects, but I cannot imagine going back to the unbearable pain and sleepless nights!

Tonic water is cheap enough, so for now, I’ll continue using it and keep an eye out for the side effects. (One nice benefit of Tonic water’s bitter taste: no one else in the house will touch it!)

While on a volunteer work project and suffering from leg cramps, a group of high school
football players said they drank dill pickle juice when practicing in August heat. I tried it
and got some relief. I used this until I found out about tonic water that really gives me
the relief I needed.

I had two small bottles of quinine tonic, and now my ears are ringing continually. The FDA should have made these losers put a warning label on their drink if they are going to sell to the public. This is ridiculous. What the hell good is the FDA if they are not honest with the public?

I drink a six ounce glass of Tonic water for leg cramps that were so bad I would freeze were ever I stood and at night would have to roll on the floor and stretch my legs straight out to get any relief, my Dr told me 6 ounces every day so I tried it every 2 day’s and no leg or hand cramps since very good remedy I ever had the relief us soothing .I am grateful for that advice no reactions drinking the tonic and Orange Juice

Quinine in tonic water also prevents or relieves restless legs syndrome. I always order a gin and tonic on a plane trip of 3 hours or more, when I am likely to get RLS. It works perfectly and also makes the flight more relaxing.

Magnesium tablets work..

Quinine is not recommended for people with myasthenia gravis, as it tends to aggravate symptoms like ocular myasthenia (drooping eyelids and double vision).

I work at a health food store. I have many customers, as well as my husband, who have taken magnesium/calcium supplements for leg cramps: 1,000 mg of ea. once a day and the cramps have stopped very quickly. A glass of Emergen-C works well also….immediately. Best to do both preventatively to not have to endure the pain. These cures also work for dehydration caused leg cramps especially in older people.

I’m one of those people who like tonic water by itself. But I had to cut it out entirely after it was discovered my liver enzymes were off the chart (literally!). The doc was really concerned but I remembered decades ago hearing that a G&T the night before a blood panel could give some false positives. Since I’m otherwise in perfect health, I was able to convince doc to let me quit tonic and re-test a month later. The liver enzymes were going back to normal. So no more tonic water for me.

I have Myasthenia Gravis, a neuromuscular disease. Quinine is ABSOLUTELY contraindicated. However, I also have Fibromyalgia which can cause severe muscle cramping. I have found that taking a teaspoon of yellow mustard works wonders for the muscle cramps. It’s almost like a miracle how quickly the muscle cramps are relieved. I highly recommend it.

“blood disorder called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). My hematologist said it was triggered by the quinine water.”

If it was diagnosed as ‘idiopathic’…how would your hematologist know the cause or the trigger?
It’s like saying that because you drank a glass of wine it was the trigger that caused cirrhosis of your liver.
One must be careful of these terms.

I use regular tonic for occasional leg cramps. I keep a single serving bottle in the refrigerator, take a swallow or two as needed and the cramp stops in seconds. I tried the routine without the swallow of tonic and the cramp persisted. So it seems to be that tiny amount of quinine that does the trick. i have type two diabetes and a sip or two doesn’t make a difference. I don’t use sugar substitutes.

I have Restless Leg Syndrome plus Proctalgia Fujax (extremely anguishing rectal spasms).
Did not want to deal with side effects of prescription meds for the RLS. Have been taking magnesium for the RLS which has done away with them. I take enough magnesium until I reach a level which works for me. I take the magnesium at night before bedtime.
Now the only time I get hit with Proctalgia Fujax is when extremely exhausted.

I get leg cramps at night if I don’t thoroughly stretch my hamstrings and other leg muscles everyday (when they are warmed up). There’s even an exercise for stretching the ligaments that cause shin splints. I exercise everyday and makes sure to stretch when finished otherwise I will get cramps at night.

Twelve or fourteen ozs. of tonic water is too much to drink before going to bed, or at any time I think. I drink about 4 oz. with an oz. or less of Gordon’s gin. Sometimes I add a few ground juniper berries. Some people add a little honey.
I figure this covers muscle cramps and arthritis pain. And I sleep well!
Don’t overdo anything!!! Use common sense.

Isn’t banning quinine because a few people have a toxic reaction akin to banning peanuts because a few people have a toxic reaction? Or banning all flashing warning lights because a few people get seizures?

You can’t ban everything that has a beneficial effect because a small segment of the population reacts badly.

I have been following conversations regarding nightly leg cramps for awhile now as I recently was having a problem with them to the degree I dreaded going to bed at night.
Over the past 8 months or so, I have intentionally been drinking – at minimum- half of my body weight in ounces of water daily. Rather than coffee in the am, I now start my day with a 16oz glass of water to get me underway. Then throughout the day, this is the only liquid I consume – water. Since I have been on this regimen, I have not experienced any more nights being awaken by leg cramps. Not sure if there is anything to this or not but it seems to be working for me. Just thought I would share…..

Absolutely agree Bob! I have to wonder if there is definitely more to banning quinine than the given reason. Maybe keeping it from people helps feed the medical and big pharma industry from people looking for other solutions. Easier to control people distracted with debilitating cramps. If it was as simple as explained then shouldn’t many drugs, food additives and products made for human consumption be banned?

As soon as I get a cramp I take a teaspoon of plain yellow mustard as suggested in one of your articles. My cramp is gone by the time I leave the kitchen a minute later. It’s amazing. I have told innumerable people about this but nobody has tried it. Foolish people!!

I had an Arterial Study and a Venous Duplex sonogram today and found out that circulation is perfect. My potassium is fine, so the doctor told me to drink tonic water which contained a small amount of quinine. I am reading this article and the side effects coincide with my daughter’s who never had a drink of tonic water. However, she has ringing in the ears, rash, itching or blurred vision, so it is probably a coincidence that some one had some of those same symptoms the day they drunk a glass of tonic. They took the quinine pills out of the drug stores, per doctor quote “they were no making enough money and was not profitable”.

I thought i would add my piece to this conversation. I have a condition where my muscles have very low reserve energy. This condition causes me to cramp when i have expended all the stored energy. I’ve had a muscle biopsy and every test available to determine the underlying cause without positive results. Finally i got an appointment to the MAYO clinic. The point! My doctor suggested i try TONIC WATER W/ quinine to relieve the cramping.

My doctor told me to get tonic water yesterday for leg cramps. But after reading all these side affects. I don’t think I want to drink it at all. I’ll deal with the cramps.

My legs really ached so I had about 12 ounces of straight tonic water last night. Five minutes later I thought I was going to vomit. I resisted the urge to throw up then felt like I was dying! Seriously, I felt that bad. I fell asleep on the sofa at 6:30pm woke up at 8:00pm and crawled to bed. I woke at 2 and again at 4 when I decided to take allergy medicine. I will NEVER touch anything with QUININE in it again. After reading online about the serious side effects it can cause it should be banned in drinks.

One Dr. ays its safe to drink qunine water and the other says it will kill your kidneys.Now which it ?

There is a distinct resemblance in flavour of quinine and grapefruit.

Is there any connection in the two, with reference to how grapefruit shouldn’t be taken as it affects certain prescription medications?

Ought quinine have the same/similar restriction?

I have tarsal tunnel syndrome in my right foot which I get toe cramp spasms at anytime. I was told both from my podiatrist and at the time my physical therapist drink tonic water reduce toe cramp spasms. Personally tonic water helps me I drink 1-2 bottles a day. I stock up when it’s on sale at my local grocery store. Wish I was informed of tonic water yeaes ago.

Cramps could be an indication of Magnesium deficiency. Try Mg tablets instead of Tonic, might be a healthier option.
If you have Tinnitus, it is likely to be associated with lack of Oxygen.
Try to breathe heavily for a few minutes and watch your Tinnitus disappear. Worked for me many times.

I started using tonic water as a biting insect repellant a week ago. As zika virus has been reported in Maryland, I am looking for my edge and so far, no bites. I have had no adverse reaction to drinking ten ounces of tonic before walking.

been having leg cramps at night for amonth and a half . dr. told me to drink tonic water i thought he was crazy.i bought it, tried it,leg cramp free all night.

I drink Instant Chicory Drink daily , the ingredients are as follows , Corn syrup solids , chicory extracts ,caramel and Quinine . Is it safe ??.
I haven`t experienced any side effects .I feel great .
Each 100mg servings contains 30kj energy , 0g sugar , 0g fat , 0g saturates and 0.1g of salt .
Could this be dangerous ?
Herby Albert

My husband has advanced bladder cancer. He sometime loses a bit of blood in his urine. His doctors want him to drink lots of liquids. Recently,he started asking for tonic water with lime and ice. I was happy to see him drinking and refilled his glass any time he asked. After a few glasses, there was a dramatic increase in the bleeding from his bladder. He developed clots with urinary blockage and received treatment in an emergency room. I just happened to read somewhere that quinine interferes with platelet function and can contribute to bleeding. This must be the case, because when he stopped drinking the tonic water,the bleeding slowed and his urine returned to near normal.

Add your thoughts to the conversation. what is the side effect of drinking club tonic water or quinine tonic.

Jim: To certain people quinine is a deadly poison! It should NEVER be included in any food or food product of any type without CLEAR warning that quinine is present!!

My wife’s last encounter with it (June 6,2016) nearly killed her: Emergency Room personnel did not think she would survive! The source of the quinine was either a bowl of soup or a cup of fountain coke, her meal 45 to 60 minutes before admission to the emergency room.

The effect of the quinine was more than half an hour of violent vomiting.

I suffered from leg cramps due to type 2 diabetes. I only drank tonic water as an alternative drink and did not know until I read this article on quinine that it helps with leg cramps. Looking back, my leg cramps would ease off and stop for periods of time when I bought tonic water. They should advertise this on the table. Their sales would go through the roof ?

I live in Florida and I drink tonic water and lemon all the time to help cool down on very hot days. Could this be dangerous?

Tonic water has been and is a great remedy for my nighttime leg cramps.
I drink about 3 fluid ounces before bed and have no side effects. It’s a great relief!

I drink Tonic Water because I REALLY like it. I don’t have leg cramps and the only time in my life where I’ve ever had them was 20+ years ago, so I’m drinking it because I like it.

I see the side effects listed… ringing in ears, rash, etc. I don’t seem to have any issues of any kind like that. So, I guess I’m just lucky with respect to that situation since I really dig the taste of it.

So barring the side effects listed, is there anything else that’s not listed? Like is it really fattening, or does it decrease the absorption of sugars in your liver? I try to avoid things like guarna and taurine, (sp on both) which probably is not the same thing, but they have odd side effects also that relate to digestion and such. (At least I’ve heard this before).

Anyway, if anyone knows any other side effects that are not listed like the ones I have there with respect to calories and such, I’d love to know!

Thanks everyone!

If you have ringing in your ears, any balance issues, or loss of hearing you have what it called Menierres Syndrome.

I have had this disease or syndrome since the age of 19. And I never drank any Quinine or Tonic water.

I ask all of you to see an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist when you can. Preferable at. Teaching Hospital where you will hVe the Chiefs of Staff and their residence to diagnose your cause.

I was diagnosed by the best Chief of Staff at Ny Presbyterian Hospital years ago and was a case study to determine this ailment.

It was NOT caused by Quinine, so any City or State who jumped to that conclusion and banned quinine should go back to medical school .

R.L.S ,I would rather live with my mother in law,both are a living hell!!!!Had it for 10 years now,only Requip works but it gives you a bad attitude and after 30 mins it seems to bring it on faster and harder then some how it it just goes away. My work will not allow me to work there if I am on Requip but what they don’t know won’t hurt them.I am trying tonic water with quinine,seems to work a little bit. Thank God for the person who invented the c-pap machine,can’t sleep without it!

I have RLS & I can’t tell you how bad it feels, especially at night or even worse at a work meeting or the movies! I finally decided to do something about it when I had planned an overseas trip & dreading the plane flight. My doc prescribed sifrol & oh my god! Relief at last! Sleep at last! I was a new woman & it’s been working well for a year now – 1/2 a tablet usually does it with the occasional full tablet. I’m trying tonic water for the first time & hoping for good things. I checked out whether to purchase diet or not & I decided to choose the sugar over the diet because of the carcergenic sweeteners. I would be interested to find another quinine product that will also help. If there is such a produ c t available. I’m not ususlly a soft drink person but will give it a go for now.

Look into QTonic, available at health food stores and some grocery stores. It uses natural sweeteners, no corn syrup or artificial sweeteners. I’m trying it for leg cramps but too soon to know if it’s helping (don’t have cramps every night–get them from walking or driving too much.)

I suffer from restless limbs syndrome, it is not just in my legs. I can’t sit or lie still. I was in agony until my Dr prescribed Gabapentin. It worked like a charm. I also drink tonic water and take vitamins D,C, E, and iron, and magnesium. I can now have a normal day and a full night’s sleep! It is heaven.

I have occasional spells of arrhythmia with elevated blood pressure that no one seems to want to address. (two MD’s told me that everyone has irregular heartbeats). During one of these “spells”…I remembered reading about Tonic Water being used for irregular heartbeats as well as for Malaria. The last three times I had arrhythmia, I drank about 4-6 oz of diet tonic water. This small amount stopped the irregular beats within 3 minutes. This is a safer option in my opinion than BetaBlockers.

I also suffer from RLS and MS. I Have been taking Gabapentine and Ropinerole for a number of years for symptoms associated with both illnesses, so when I read that tonic water and specifically quinine could help with the RLS I thought I should give it a try. I perchased a 2 LITER bottle, drank 6 oz that afternoon before a much needed nap. Wrong! For the next 3 days the RLS was horrible, as bad as it was before I started on the Ropinerole, it was as if it counter acted the effectiveness of the Ropinerole. I truly believe in ” natural alternatives “, but not in this case .

As a 25 year+ sufferer of peripheral neuropathy and RLS, the combination of both had a marked effect on my everyday life, whether it be the nightly cramps and the subsequent lack of QUALITY sleep that caused so many other issues. Enter Tonic water 3 weeks ago and even allowing for the sugar content, I am a convert.
My quality of sleep has improved remarkably which has had such a great effect on the way I function throughout the day.
I have not taken any prescribed drugs for over 10 years now as I simply don’t trust them, especially to the side effects that kept getting “covered up” or no explanation given. If I have to deal with a little extra sugar in my life with Toni Water then I’ll reduce it other ways. (Forget artificial sweetners in Diet Tonic, their worse)
God knows how though as I don’t drink soft drinks or eat commercially prepared foods or fruit juices, sauces etc.
The benefits of even the quality of sleep I now get far outway the previous daily sufferings I endured.

I’ve been suffering a couple times a year with a severe rash/breakout in around mouth and “man parts”. Dr. Said it was a yeast infection. I kept getting them, even though I was eating right, really right. To the point I was drinking lemons with Tonic Water…. and I kept getting these horrible outbreaks.

THE ONLY connection I could make is a couple times it started at dinner parties… I noticed the last time I started having “ants in my pants” was at a party where the host gave me a tall Vodka Tonic. Looking back I remember a gin and tonic at another event where “ants in my pants” started. Well I was at a party last Saturday, hostess had a Vodka cranberry carbonated cocktail…. “ants in pants and mouth sores”… Called hostess and asked what the carbonated component … it was TONIC WATER!!! Anyway I’m staying the hell away from Tonic Water… Dr. Not much help… just puzzled … and I’ve seen specialists over the years.”

Ive been having a Eyespasm for a whole month throughout the day non stop it’s driving me crazy I read about the Quinine and I’m giving it a try I’m on my second day and I still have the Eye spasm hopefully by tonight it will cure wish me luck

I had an upper eyelid spasm that was extremely annoying. The tic would come on every 30 seconds to a few minutes and I was in week three. I read about tonic water helping, and bought Q Tonic. It did solve the problem for me. The tic has gone away and I’m not thinking about it anymore.

I have just recently heard of this remedy for leg cramps. I have always drank pickle juice for cramping it works just fine. I do drink a little tonic water and it seems to have some good properties. I feel you should discuss any changes to your health care with a medical professional. But if it works for you without side effects I suppose it is just as good as prescription meds (Chemicals).

Have always liked Quinine in Diet Tonic. Easy to find, lots of grocery stores have their own store brand in 1 liter bottles for under a buck, ie K-Mart, Acme, Giant Eagle.

But am now an old woman with heart issues and it’s occurred to me that Quinine might not be so good considering the other meds I take. I usually mix 4oz Diet Tonic Water with 4 oz of Cranberry juice, or OJ. I think, after reading some remarks online, that I will ask my Cardiac Doc if Quinine is OK for me because I take blood thinner and statin meds. I will be upset if he says to stop, because I really love this stuff.

I suffer from Charlie horse like pains in my ankles legs and feet at night, my husband heard about tonic water with quinine – I drink a small bottle each night and it is very rare I have the severe pains in my feet and legs. It is best if you put it in the freezer for a couple of hours and let it get slushy. Also a great thirst quencher and good for an upset stomach.

I have peripheral neuropothy in feet and partly in my legs. My podiatrist said to drink 8oz tonic water at night. I did, and I have had 3 cramp free nights. Before that it was EVERY night and worse if I did more walking than normal. GOSH, what a GREAT feeling to sleep ALL night with no horrible feet and leg cramps. I also take Magnesium oxide and potassium (which are normal readings in blood work). I also get the sugar free tonic water and drink it through a straw.

This was very interesting to me. I have had RLS for some time, last night for the first time I drank almost a whole Bottle of the Tonic, slept for the first time all through the night, however I think I do not need to drink that much. I also have Depression and Anxiety and am on Medication, this morning I feel a little bit more jittery, any suggestions???? Schweppes is familiar to me, because I am German, I will try to see if I get it through the German Deli in Texas, thought I saw it advertised. The Tonic Water does not taste good by itself, thank you for everyone who had different suggestions. Perhaps a Glass at night would be enough????? Also the Sugar Content is very high and thank you for mentioning that Tonic Water also comes Sugar free. To each and all best Wishes.

My Gran has been drinking tonic water to help with leg cramps she’d get at night, per the suggestion of a family member. Tonight she was having some after after her foot was cramping in bed. She commented on how quickly it worked, after just a few ouncesounces, & said she wondered why it did. Curious myself I googled it & was amazed at what I found! She’s 83, has been using it as a natural remedy for years, & swears by it. I understand the risks of side effects & know what to look out for, but I think I’ll try it for myself. I work in construction as a framer in the hot desert climate of Phoenix, AZ. I read comments about it also helping with back pain so I’m curious if it’ll help with my back pain & occasional muscle spasmsspasms/cramps. I’ll try to remember to follow up with the results. Thanks for sharing everyone, whether it helps out not I learned something new today!

I have had severe cramps for years. I used to take prescription Quinine until the FDA changed it’s uses.
After finally giving in and going to the doctor last week she ran a lot of tests. She told me to drink 2 glasses of tonic water with added lime slices everyday. I’m happy to report I’ve been cramp free since that day! And I really like the taste of my concoction.
I have also been taking magnesium oxide for years to help relax the tight muscles.

You might try magnesium malate – I’m a bariatric patient (with night leg cramps), and the malate absorbs better. I heard about drinking tonic water and tried it last night for the first time, and I had a very good night. The sugar is nasty for my system so I’m going to look into herbal/pill alternatives.

My wife gets up at nights rubbing her calves and screaming for pain. We tried 8ozs can of quinine water and pain went away.

I was suffering from Rsl for over 6 years,at night it’s the worst,during the day and even going to the movies it was shocking .I am 66yrs old. I was on Sifrol pills for so long,and took 2 pills 2 hrs before bed mmmmm .But last weekend I started looking on the Webb and came across someone that’s using the tonic ,now 6 days ago I am off my pills and drinking a 3/4 glass of Schweppes Diet Indian Tonic just before I sleep….what a find ,what a gem….I sleep like a baby,no more restless legs at night nor during the day…..I even had pain down my leg in front ,that’s gone too….my hubby is happy ,I am happy and a HUGE thanks to Schweppes for putting some Quinine in the tonic…..if you know of anyone that has RSL tell them to give it a go …..loving my legs now.

Sent from my iPad

If you live in England or anywhere else they sell Schweppes, try the Bitter Lemon. I love that stuff, especially in the summer. Unfortunately, after drinking it for 20+ years I developed an allergy to quinine, so I can’t drink it anymore. If you live in North America try the Canada Dry Bitter Lemon.

I stumbled upon my remedy for lower back pain. I got half way through a glass of gin & tonic and immediately felt better.
I had assumed it was the gin.
I tried other alcoholic drinks with no benefit.
Then during a conversion with a strange they informed me it was the quinine, not the gin.
Absolutely true.
I have not seen any comments about tonic water relieving back pain, but if you suffer, try it.
Magic for me.

About three hours ago I drank about a full glass of tonic water,* which contain quinine… not knowing what quinine was, I googled it. Now that I am aware of its’ side affect, I will be more careful on how I consume it: how much and at what time. As of now I have not experience any side affects. *My Dr. recommended it.

Dr told me that this may help with calf pain spasms. I can’t believe how much it has. I only drink 6 oz @ night time. No don’t add booze! The only thing with me I got the lime one which has has high fructose. It only has been a few days but it’s been such a relief to be able to stretch & turn while sleeping instead of painful muscle spasms so bad I can see my calf muscle hard as a rock & looks like it want’s to burst out of my leg.

If they know its the quinine in the water producing the reaction, then it’s not idiopathic.

Try 2 teaspoons of yellow mustard, excellent for leg cramps

I have had unbearable leg cramps since I was 10 and RLS for the last four years. I take calcium, magnesium, potassium but yet no relief. I have been asking my Doctors at Kaiser and my current health care provider. Absolutely no one cares. I go for days and nights with no sleep. Today its three days with no sleep. No one understands and never has. I sympathize with every one that suffers with this hell. I have tried everything and after reading these comments I will try the tonic water which I absolutely love. Mix it with cranberry juice…its delish. If it works, its very worth it.

I mix mine with Gatorade, tastes OK.

I’ve had Restless Leg Syndrome for about 10 years. Most people don’t understand what torture it is. At first my doctor put me on Requip, but the side effects were serious. Every afternoon I would start taking the Requip, and within 1/2 hour I would be groggy and unable to function for the rest of the evening. Then another doctor put me on Mirapex. What a wonderful relief. No side effects for me, and If I miss a pill, I take one, and in 15 or 20 minutes the shakes and jerking go away. I no longer suffer just knowing that relief is that close anytime I need it

I told my dr about my restless leg. My doctor suggested a product from the local pharmacy that was marketed for that that the active ingredient was Quinine.

I tried one dose and my neck started swelling up and my joints started hurting. I was on the job site so they dosed me with Benadryl and took me to the ER. Was told that I was allergic to it.

My neurologist prescribes garapentin for the restless legs. It does wonders. I am taking 3 -300 mg capsules a day. One in the morning because I’d sometimes get RLS during the day and two in the evening. The maximum that can be taken a day is 9, so I have a ways to go. I also started taking iron supplements at the same time an my energy level is now beyond belief. By the way, I am 71 and have had RLS for decades.

I was at my eye doctor last week for my annual check up and mentioned that I was experiencing a slight “fluttering” in both my eyelids. She said that quinine water might help reduce the fluttering. I bought a bottle on the way home and had a glass that night. The flutter seemed to leave BUT I noticed that my tinnitus was elevated. This morning I decided to resaerch quinine and have discovered that tinnitus is one of the side effects of quinine water. My tinnitus had been a low level (easily ignored) but is now VERY present. I hope that it will return to its low, tollerable low level soon. I wish I had not tried the quinine treatment for my eye flutter.

Any information about restless legs would be appreciated

About 10 years ago I started having symptoms of RLS. My legs needed to move. Occasionally they would jerk for no apparent reason. I had to get up several time at night just to walk until my legs calmed down. I began to understand why RLS could drive people to be come alcoholics or commit suicide. My doctor first prescribed Requip, but the side effects would make me groggy and unable to function for the rest of the evening. Then a doctor switched me to Mirapex. It’s a miracle for me. Quick relief with no side effects. I am near the maximum dosage so I just hoping that it doesn’t get worse.

I’ve never used it, I just read a note from another person who claims that relief was excellent with Gabapentin.

this is my first time drinking this tonic water, not too bad tasting, but only one glass, I do not have the leg cramps, mine is more like a crawling feeling, hate it so bad, feeling fed up! Also can’t sleep with this problem, living on 3 hrs a night

What you are describing sounds like Restless Legs Syndrome. I have Sensory Polyneuropathy (disease of the nerves in the feet) and RLS. I really believe that they are one in the same in my case. Your doctor can put you on medication to help. Even with my medication, I still sometimes have symptoms and have to take an extra pill. It’s funny, but my RLS was not bad until I was put on Ropinirole. I experienced an immediate augmentation (increase) of my symptoms (sometimes this happens with this drug, according to what I read) and now have to take the medication every evening. It sounds like your symptoms are already bad, and you need some help so that you can get some sleep!

That sounds more like Restless Leg Syndrome – entirely different. Google that because there are some things that might help. Good Luck!

I had trouble with hip and groin pain, until I stopped drinking Tonic, it seems statins and tonic are a bad combination.

I too get feet and leg cramps. I hate the taste of coconut water but will try Schwepps Tonic water. I will try drinking more water. Another person said I needed more iron.

Hi. I suffered with some pretty bad leg cramps- the kind that cause you to give up on sleep and then the pain and soreness continues long after the attack and through to the next attack. I also had RLS and took some med for it but not anymore. I’ve tried a lot of remedies but the one that works best for me and has several great healthy side effects, one of which is improving arthritis symptoms, is coconut water. Coconut water has huge hydration properties and balances electrolytes- magnesium, potassium, sodium etc- also has calcium and a few nice phytonutrients; helps skin, memory and mood. As for cramps, coconut water is great but you have to drink one about each day- 12 oz. or more. In a pinch you can add a dash of quinine water. Try it. It may work for you too!

I was suffering from Rsl for over 6 years,at night it’s the worst,during the day and even going to the movies it was shocking .I am 66yrs old. I was on Sifrol pills for so long,and took 2 pills 2 hrs before bed mmmmm .But last weekend I started looking on the Webb and came across someone that’s using the tonic ,now 6 days ago I am off my pills and drinking a 3/4 glass of Schweppes Diet Indian Tonic just before I sleep….what a find ,what a gem….I sleep like a baby,no more restless legs at night nor during the day…..I even had pain down my leg in front ,that’s gone too….my hubby is happy ,I am happy and a HUGE thanks to Schweppes for putting some Quinine in the tonic…..if you know of anyone that has RSL tell them to give it a go …..loving my legs now.

Taking 450 mg of a high quality magnesium citrate not only stopped my leg cramps but also has the added benefits of (making you very relaxed, eases sore muscles from post workout,great sleep and softens and moistens bowel movements) also it has very low toxicity. Magnesium is often lacking in a lot of the soil in North America so even if you eat really healthy bio regional organic produce there is a high chance your Mag levels are still no where near optimal.

I have discovered by fluke that the day I eat grapes and the seeds as well, that night I have no cramps in my legs.

It is also a great instant remedy for ticks / twitches.

Great info, thanks for sharing

Scared using it, but it does work for me. I recently got the most horrible foot, calf and thigh cramps as a side effect of a cortisone shot in my knee. (Apparently, from online forums, this is not uncommon if you have Fibromyalgia, though the doctors I spoke to were clueless.) They were unbearable, and not only kept me up all night soaking them in hot water, but made me feel like I’d been beaten and left for dead for a few days after.

I drank 2 bottles of tonic water and took 525mg potassium and magnesium and B-complex supplements. The cramps were gone the next day. They came back weaker a few days later when I stopped the treatment- disappeared again when I restarted, though I lessened the amount to 2 glasses of tonic. Soap and other remedies did nothing to help. The tonic and minerals does work. I wish they made tonic water without sugar or sugar substitutes. It tastes terrible anyway so what’s the point of sweeteners. Tolerable mixed with lime, OJ and vodka.

@Linda..Just got on this sight so I’m a few months late for this comment, but I get our Store brand or Walmart has the sugarfree. I drink my 8oz from a straw that way you don’t get the full taste.

Do you happen to get leg cramps if you drink wine? I get terrible leg cramps inside my leg if I drink wine. I did some google searches and found out it was the sulfites in the wine. I then had a cortisone shot in my shoulder and almost immediately got cramps in my feet and legs. Did more research and found out some or most cortisone shots have sulfites for a preservative. I finally found an organic wine with no traceable amount of sulfites. Drank it 4 nights in a row and no leg cramps at all. Don’t know if one can find a cortisone shot with no sulfites.

I took Quinine for several years for leg cramps, but then they became prescription only. I took them by prescription but the price had gone from about $5 for 100 to $35 for a month supply by prescription. Then the pharmaceutical companies did studies on it and it is now $5 per pill.

I got them by Rx from a pharmacy in Canada for about $40 for 100, but now they have gone up. Mine are so bad that I hate to go to bed knowing that if I move they will start up. I even get them around my ribs and back. Today my hands cramped so bad I could hardly comb my hair. I will get quinine water which I have used in the past. Also will put a bar of soap in my bed. I ordered some stuff from the Amish that is apple cider vinegar, garlic juice, and ginger juice. It works a little, but cannot afford to do that. May try making my own. Salt under my tongue helps and will see if I can find celtic salt?? No one understands how horrid this can be unless they have been through it. So nice to see people who understand. I also use some essential oil cream. Any port in the storm huh guys?


I am in total sympathy with your problems with cramps. And I agree with you–people who haven’t experienced this have no idea how painful it is. I suffered for years from horrible leg cramps at night several times a week, and not only at night, but sometimes during the day. I got cramps in my hands when I was driving, and even had them in my tongue! They would go on and on, for as long as 40 minutes. Excruciating. I took potassium and magnesium supplements but they didn’t help. I took quinine, at first by prescription from my local drugstore, then purchased from Canada after it was banned in the U.S., but I worried about having to take so much so frequently. When I moved to another town, my new doctor recommended that I try Mag-Tab SR, which is magnesium L-lactate dihydrate, available online from Niche Pharmaceuticals. The recommended dosage is one pill (84 mg), but I took 3 in the evening, and sometimes as many as 5 (my doctor was fine with that dosage). They absolutely work! I highly recommend them to anyone who suffers from this terrible affliction.

* Be nice, and don't over share. View comment policy^