Quinine has been used for some years for the relief of leg cramps, a problem that affects many people while sleeping at night. In 2006, the Food and Drug Administration banned drugs that contain quinine, except for the anti-malaria drug qualaquin. Consumers still seeking relief for leg cramps can find quinine in several brands of tonic water, including Schweppes. The quinine helps relax leg muscles.
Drink four to eight ounces of tonic water an hour before bedtime. Four ounces contain 15 milligrams of quinine, a very low dose. If you want to relieve the bitter taste, add some fruit juice.
Drink plenty of water. This helps the body avoid dehydration through strenuous physical activity or exercise. Dehydration is a common cause of muscle cramping, as is a lack of potassium, sodium or magnesium.
Watch for side effects. The FDA cites abnormal heart rhythms, blood hemorraghing, and other symptoms of an adverse reaction to quinine. You may also feel some nausea, vision blurring and headaches. Discontinue the use of quinine in any form if this occurs.
Relief of Leg Cramps
If a leg cramp occurs, stretch the muscle by flexing your foot toward your head. Or get out of bed, stand and put pressure on your heel. Massage the muscle and apply heat if the pain persists.
Do a stretch routine each night before bed. Press your foot against a wall to extend your calf muscles. While in bed, lay on your stomach and extend your foot over the end of the bed, flexing it to work the calf muscles. Avoid sleeping under heavy or tight covers.
Over the Counter
If tonic water does not relieve your leg cramps, try over-the-counter home remedies that contain quinine and other ingredients. Some doctors also suggest taking Vitamin E or a daily multivitamin that contains essential minerals, including potassium.
Use of Quinine for Leg Cramps
A quick remedy for nighttime leg and foot cramps is a glass of tonic water, also called quinine water. ... Quinine in...
Side Effect for Tonic Water With Quinine
Most brands of tonic water contain quinine, a substance that is used to treat malaria by killing the parasite that causes it....
What Are the Benefits of Quinine in Tonic Water?
Quinine is a drug used to treat malaria. It has been used off-label to treat leg cramps, but the side effects outweigh...
List of Foods That Contain Quinine
Quinine gives the bitter taste to the tonic water that's often used as a mixer with vodka or gin. It is known...
Dangers of Tonic Water With Quinine
It has been used off-label to treat leg cramps, ... Quinine in Tonic Water & Leg Pain. Quinine has been used for...
How to Help Leg Cramps
Getting rid of leg cramps is difficult, so being proactive can be a great advantage. ... The quinine in the tonic water...