Monday, April 20, 2015

Letter Q: The Choose Your Poison #AtoZChallenge

Quinine, a bitter extract of cinchona trees from Peru, was used by natives of that country as a muscle relaxant and to reduce shivering from both cold and fever. A Jesuit by the name of Agostino Salumbrino (d1642) who was serving in Peru sent quinine home to Rome to be tested as a treatment for various fevers, particularly malaria. Quinine proved effective and became the first-choice treatment for malaria all over the world until the 1950s, when other drugs became available. Quinine (in miniscule amounts) is found in tonic water, bitter lemon and other cocktail mixers; and although it's no longer recommended, when I was in college during the 1980s I was prescribed low doses of quinine for leg cramps.

Side effects of quinine may include tinnitus (ringing of the ears), headache, vision problems and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes).  An overdose can cause any of the following:  rapid/irregular heartbeat, confusion, hearing impairment, seizures, loss of peripheral vision, blindness, coma, or death.

WikiTox: Quinine


  1. A great choice for a difficult letter.

  2. Bummer side effects. Not that all drugs don't have them.

  3. If I remember right I think I heard something way back in the 70's about quinine being a solution to an unwanted pregnancy but it might have been an old wives tale....

  4. I didn't know trait was poisonous. Okay. I learned something new.

    1. It was not trait! Stupid autocorrect.