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Brand & Generic Names


Basic Information

  • Habit forming? No
  • Prescription needed? Yes
  • Available as generic? Yes
  • Drug class: Antiprotozoal


  • Treats disease caused by the intestinal parasite Giardia lamblia.
  • Treats mild to moderate discoid lupus erythematosus.

Dosage & Usage Information

How to take:
Tablets--Swallow with full glass of water, tea or fruit juice. If you can't swallow whole, crumble tablet and mix with jam or chocolate syrup.

When to take:
After meals.

If you forget a dose:
Take as soon as you remember up to 2 hours late. If more than 2 hours, wait for next scheduled dose (don't double this dose).

What drug does:
Destroys Gardia lamblia parasites in the gastrointestinal system.

Time lapse before drug works:
1 day.

Don't take with:
Any other medicine without consulting your doctor or pharmacist.


Severe abdominal cramps, convulsions, severe diarrhea, fainting, irregular heartbeat, restlessness.


  • Dial 911 (emergency) or O (operator) for an ambulance or medical help. Then give first aid immediately.
  • If patient is unconscious and not breathing, give mouth-to- mouth breathing. If there is no heartbeat, use cardiac massage and mouth-to-mouth breathing (CPR). Don't try to make patient vomit. If you can't get help quickly, take patient to nearest emergency facility.
  • See EMERGENCY Information.

Possible Adverse Reactions or Side Effects


    In case of overdose, see Overdose section.


  • Dizziness, nausea, headache.
  • Yellow eyes, skin, urine (due to dye- like characteristics of quinacrine).


  • Mild abdominal cramps; mild diarrhea; appetite loss; skin rash, itching or peeling.
  • Mood changes.


    Hallucinations, nightmares.

Warnings & Precautions

Don't take if:
You are allergic to quinacrine.

Before you start, consult your doctor:

  • If you have porphyria.
  • If you have had psoriasis.
  • If you have a history of severe mental disorders.
  • If you are on a low-salt, low-sugar or other special diet.

Over age 60:
No special problems.

Studies inconclusive on harm to unborn child. Decide with your doctor whether drug benefits justify risk to unborn child. Treatment best begun after child has been delivered.

No problems documented. Consult doctor.

Infants & children:
Children tolerate quinacrine poorly. Quinacrine may cause vomiting due to bitter taste. Try crushing tablets in jam, honey or chocolate syrup.

Prolonged use:

  • Can cause eye problems, liver disease, aplastic anemia. Don't use for more than 5 days.
  • Talk to your doctor about the need for follow-up medical examinations or laboratory studies to check stools for giardiasis.

Skin & sunlight:
No problems expected.

Driving, piloting or hazardous work:
Don't drive or pilot aircraft until you learn how medicine affects you. Don't work around dangerous machinery. Don't climb ladders or work in high places. Danger increases if you drink alcohol or take medicine affecting alertness and reflexes, such as antihistamines, tranquilizers, sedatives, pain medicine, narcotics and mind-altering drugs.

Don't discontinue before 5 days without consulting doctor.

Request 3 stool exams several days apart.

Possible Interaction with Other Drugs

------------------------ -----------------------
Primaquine Decreased effect of primaquine.

Possible Interaction with Other Substances

--------------- ---------------
Alcohol: Increased adverse effects of both.
Beverages: No special problems expected.
Cocaine: No special problems expected.
Foods: No special problems expected.
Marijuana: No special problems expected.
Tobacco: No special problems expected.

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