Quinine for night-time cramps

Dr Mark Porter / 31 May 2018

Dr Mark Porter discusses solutions for night-time cramps.

Q: Is it OK to take quinine long term to prevent night-time cramps?

A: Ideally, it’s not. Quinine can have worrying side effects on the heart and bone marrow. Only take it if cramps regularly give you disturbed nights. Try stopping if they ease off. Safer options include calf stretches before bed and over-the-counter magnesium supplements (though the evidence is poor). Next time you see your GP, ask if they have ruled out underlying triggers such as salt imbalances.




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