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The use of unapproved quinine-containing drugs to prevent nocturnal leg cramps poses serious safety concerns, including the risk of death, according to a December 11, 2006, warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The risk associated with the use of quinine sulfate in the absence of evidence of its effectiveness for treatment or prevention of nocturnal leg cramps, outweighs any potential benefit in treating and/or preventing this benign, self-limiting condition.
Tell your physician not to prescribe mefloquine if you or someone you know has a history of psychiatric disturbances or convulsions. If mefloquine is prescribed, care should be exercised with regard to driving and operating machines since dizziness, a disturbed sense of balance, and other neuropsychiatric effects have been associated with this drug.
This is the second of a two-part series on drug-induced psychiatric symptoms that began in last month’s Worst Pills, Best Pills News. The information is based on the July 8, 2002 issue of The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics. Article lists drugs and adverse effects.