Quinine is a white crystalline alkaloid derived from (and first isolated from in 1820) the bark of the cinchona tree from South America, long used in treating a variety of ailments. It was preeminent in early treatment of malaria until the 1930s when atabrine, a synthetic alkaloid drug, was introduced; after this more suitable quinine derivatives such as chloroquine were synthesized. Quinine is also a mild analgesic and may prevent cramps and suppress heart rhythm (see arrhythmias) disorders. Now rarely used, its side effects include vomiting, deafness, vertigo, and vision disturbance.
Related category HEALTH AND DISEASE
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