Does Quinine Help Nighttime Leg Cramps

Does Quinine Help Nighttime Leg Cramps

Does Quinine Help Nighttime Leg Cramps?

Nighttime leg cramps are a common and usually harmless condition where the muscles in your leg suddenly become tight and painful.
It usually occurs in the calf muscles, although it can affect any part of your leg, including your feet and thighs.  After the cramping has passed, you may have pain and tenderness in your leg for several hours.

Treating Nighttime leg cramps

If the cause of your leg cramps is known, it may be possible to treat the underlying cause.


If you have leg pain that persists after an episode of cramping, an over-the-counter painkiller, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen may help reduce the pain.

Nurofen Plus
Naproxen 500mg


quinine 200mg tablets
Quinine sulphate was originally designed as a medication to treat malaria.  Subsequent research has found that it can also be moderately effective in reducing the frequency of leg cramps.

Quinine sulphate 200mg
Quinine Sulphate 300mg
Quinine Bisulphate 300mg

Side Effects Of Quinine Sulfate

Due to these small but potential risks, your GP will only prescribe quinine if there is evidence that the potential benefit of treatment outweighs the risks.
It is recommended that quinine is only prescribed when:
you have tried the exercise techniques discussed above and they haven't helped prevent your leg cramps
you have frequent leg cramps which affect your quality of life
In these circumstances, you may be prescribed a four-week course of quinine.  After this time, if you have not gained any benefit, the treatment will be withdrawn.
If you experience any of the side effects listed above, stop taking quinine immediately and contact your GP.