Tags: leg | cramps | quinine

What Can I Take for Nighttime Leg Cramps?

By    |   Friday, 20 February 2015 10:24 AM

Question: My legs cramp up at night, so bad that it wakes me up sometimes. I used to take quinine, but my doctor says it is dangerous. Is there anything safer I can take?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
Leg cramps can be caused by many things that can be addressed with safer remedies than quinine preparations. Quinine was long used by patients to self-treat leg cramps, but it was removed from the store shelf by the Food and Drug Administration after it was determined to cause more side effects than benefits.

Unfortunately, the use of quinine allowed many people with an underlying health problem that might have been easy to address early to suffer more severe and sometimes deadly consequences.
Hydration, electrolyte, and vascular disorders cause the majority of nocturnal leg cramp disorders that we see, and are usually simple to remedy. Nicotine is also a potent constrictor of blood vessels, and smoking cigarettes will accelerate vascular narrowing and disease. So, if you smoke, stop now.
Several treatments can help, but you should not delay getting a medical evaluation since some causes of leg cramps are much easier to treat early than later. In some cases treating the leg cramps may prevent other more serious complications, some of which are life threatening when left uncorrected.
If your doctor is unwilling to investigate this with you, change doctors or ask for a referral to a consultant physician.

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Leg cramps can be caused by many things that can be addressed with safer treatments than quinine.
leg, cramps, quinine
Friday, 20 February 2015 10:24 AM
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