Qualaquin (Page 3 of 5)

7.2 Effects of Quinine on the Pharmacokinetics of Other Drugs

Results of in vivo drug interaction studies suggest that quinine has the potential to inhibit the metabolism of drugs that are substrates of CYP3A4 and CYP2D6. Quinine inhibits P-gp and has the potential to affect the transport of drugs that are P-gp substrates.

Anticonvulsants (carbamazepine, phenobarbital, and phenytoin): A single 600 mg oral dose of quinine sulfate increased the mean plasma Cmax , and AUC0–24 of single oral doses of carbamazepine (200 mg) and phenobarbital (120 mg) but not phenytoin (200 mg) in 8 healthy subjects. The mean AUC increases of carbamazepine, phenobarbital and phenytoin were 104%, 81% and 4%, respectively; the mean increases in Cmax were 56%, 53%, and 4%, respectively. Mean urinary recoveries of the three antiepileptics over 24 hours were also profoundly increased by quinine. If concomitant administration with carbamazepine or phenobarbital cannot be avoided, frequent monitoring of anticonvulsant drug concentrations is recommended. Additionally, patients should be monitored closely for adverse reactions associated with these anticonvulsants.

Astemizole (CYP3A4 substrate): Elevated plasma astemizole concentrations were reported in a subject who experienced torsades de pointes after receiving three doses of quinine sulfate for nocturnal leg cramps concomitantly with chronic astemizole 10 mg/day. The concurrent use of QUALAQUIN with astemizole and other CYP3A4 substrates with QT prolongation potential (e.g., cisapride, terfenadine, halofantrine, pimozide and quinidine) should also be avoided [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3) ].

Atorvastatin (CYP3A4 substrate): Rhabdomyolysis with acute renal failure secondary to myoglobinuria was reported in a patient taking atorvastatin administered with a single dose of quinine. Quinine may increase plasma concentrations of atorvastatin, thereby increasing the risk of myopathy or rhabdomyolysis. Thus, clinicians considering combined therapy of QUALAQUIN with atorvastatin or other HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (“statins”) that are CYP3A4 substrates (e.g., simvastatin, lovastatin) should carefully weigh the potential benefits and risks of each medication. If QUALAQUIN is used concomitantly with any of these statins, lower starting and maintenance doses of the statin should be considered. Patients should also be monitored closely for any signs or symptoms of muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, particularly during initial therapy. If marked creatine phosphokinase (CPK) elevation occurs or myopathy (defined as muscle aches or muscle weakness in conjunction with CPK values >10 times the upper limit of normal) is diagnosed or suspected, atorvastatin or other statin should be discontinued.

Desipramine (CYP2D6 substrate): Quinine (750 mg/day for 2 days) decreased the metabolism of desipramine in patients who were extensive CYP2D6 metabolizers, but had no effect in patients who were poor CYP2D6 metabolizers. Lower doses (80 mg to 400 mg) of quinine did not significantly affect the pharmacokinetics of other CYP2D6 substrates, namely, debrisoquine, dextromethorphan, and methoxyphenamine. Although clinical drug interaction studies have not been performed, antimalarial doses (greater than or equal to 600 mg) of quinine may inhibit the metabolism of other drugs that are CYP2D6 substrates (e.g., flecainide, debrisoquine, dextromethorphan, metoprolol, paroxetine). Patients taking medications that are CYP2D6 substrates with QUALAQUIN should be monitored closely for adverse reactions associated with these medications.

Digoxin (P-gp substrate): In 4 healthy subjects who received digoxin (0.5 to 0.75 mg/day) during treatment with quinine (750 mg/day), a 33% increase in mean steady state AUC of digoxin and a 35% reduction in the steady state biliary clearance of digoxin were observed compared to digoxin alone. Thus, if QUALAQUIN is administered to patients receiving digoxin, plasma digoxin concentrations should be closely monitored, and the digoxin dose adjusted, as necessary [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7) ].

Halofantrine: Although not studied clinically, quinine was shown to inhibit the metabolism of halofantrine in vitro using human liver microsomes. Therefore, concomitant administration of QUALAQUIN is likely to increase plasma halofantrine concentrations [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3) ].

Mefloquine: In 7 healthy subjects who received mefloquine (750 mg) at 24 hours before an oral 600 mg dose of quinine sulfate, the AUC of mefloquine was increased by 22% compared to mefloquine alone. In this study, the QTc interval was significantly prolonged in the subjects who received mefloquine and quinine sulfate 24 hours apart. The concomitant administration of mefloquine and QUALAQUIN may produce electrocardiographic abnormalities (including QTc prolongation) and may increase the risk of seizures [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3) ].

Midazolam (CYP3A4 substrate): In 23 healthy subjects who received multiple doses of QUALAQUIN 324 mg three times daily × 7 days with a single oral 2 mg dose of midazolam, the mean AUC and Cmax of midazolam and 1-hydroxymidazolam were not significantly affected. This finding indicates that 7-day dosing with QUALAQUIN 324 mg every 8 hours did not induce the metabolism of midazolam.

Neuromuscular blocking agents (pancuronium, succinylcholine, tubocurarine): In one report, quinine potentiated neuromuscular blockade in a patient who received pancuronium during an operative procedure, and subsequently (3 hours after receiving pancuronium) received quinine 1800 mg daily. Quinine may also enhance the neuromuscular blocking effects of succinylcholine and tubocurarine [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5) ].

Ritonavir: In healthy subjects who received a single oral 600 mg dose of quinine sulfate with the 15th dose of ritonavir (200 mg every 12 hours for 9 days), the mean ritonavir AUC, Cmax , and elimination half-life were slightly but not significantly increased compared to when ritonavir was given alone. However, due to the significant effect of ritonavir on quinine pharmacokinetics, the concomitant administration of QUALAQUIN capsules with ritonavir should be avoided [see also Drug Interactions (7.1) ].

Theophylline or aminophylline (CYP1A2 substrate): In 19 healthy subjects who received multiple doses of QUALAQUIN 648 mg every 8 hours x 7 days with a single 300 mg oral dose of theophylline, the mean theophylline AUC was 10% lower than when theophylline was given alone. There was no significant effect on mean theophylline Cmax . Therefore, if QUALAQUIN is co-administered to patients receiving theophylline or aminophylline, plasma theophylline concentrations should be monitored frequently to ensure therapeutic concentrations.

Warfarin and oral anticoagulants: Cinchona alkaloids, including quinine, may have the potential to depress hepatic enzyme synthesis of vitamin K-dependent coagulation pathway proteins and may enhance the action of warfarin and other oral anticoagulants. Quinine may also interfere with the anticoagulant effect of heparin. Thus, in patients receiving these anticoagulants, the prothrombin time (PT), partial thromboplastin time (PTT), or international normalization ratio (INR) should be closely monitored as appropriate, during concurrent therapy with QUALAQUIN.

7.3 Drug/Laboratory Interactions

Quinine may produce an elevated value for urinary 17-ketogenic steroids when the Zimmerman method is used.

Quinine may interfere with urine qualitative dipstick protein assays as well as quantitative methods (e.g., pyrogallol red-molybdate).


8.1 Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category C

There are extensive published data but few well-controlled studies of QUALAQUIN in pregnant women. Published data on over 1,000 pregnancy exposures to quinine did not show an increase in teratogenic effects over the background rate in the general population; however, the majority of these exposures were not in the first trimester. In developmental and reproductive toxicity studies, central nervous system (CNS) and ear abnormalities and increased fetal deaths occurred in some species when pregnant animals received quinine at doses about 1 to 4 times the human clinical dose. Quinine should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

P. falciparum malaria carries a higher risk of morbidity and mortality in pregnant women than in the general population. Pregnant women with P. falciparum malaria have an increased incidence of fetal loss (including spontaneous abortion and stillbirth), preterm labor and delivery, intrauterine growth retardation, low birth weight, and maternal death. Therefore, treatment of malaria in pregnancy is important.

Hypoglycemia, due to increased pancreatic secretion of insulin, has been associated with quinine use, particularly in pregnant women.

Quinine crosses the placenta with measurable blood concentrations in the fetus. In 8 women who delivered live infants 1 to 6 days after starting quinine therapy, umbilical cord plasma quinine concentrations were between 1.0 and 4.6 mg/L (mean 2.4 mg/L) and the mean (±SD) ratio of cord plasma to maternal plasma quinine concentrations was 0.32 ± 0.14. Quinine levels in the fetus may not be therapeutic. If congenital malaria is suspected after delivery, the infant should be evaluated and treated appropriately.

A study from Thailand (1999) of women with P. falciparum malaria who were treated with oral quinine sulfate 10 mg/kg 3 times daily for 7 days at anytime in pregnancy reported no significant difference in the rate of stillbirths at >28 weeks of gestation in women treated with quinine (10 of 633 women [1.6%]) as compared with a control group without malaria or exposure to antimalarial drugs during pregnancy (40 of 2201 women [1.8%]). The overall rate of congenital malformations (9 of 633 offspring [1.4%]) was not different for women who were treated with quinine sulfate compared with the control group (38 of 2201 offspring [1.7%]). The spontaneous abortion rate was higher in the control group (10.9%) than in women treated with quinine sulfate (3.5%) [OR = 3.1; 95% CI 2.1-4.7]. An epidemiologic survey that included 104 mother-child pairs exposed to quinine during the first 4 months of pregnancy, found no increased risk of structural birth defects was seen (2 fetal malformations [1.9%]). Rare and isolated case reports describe deafness and optic nerve hypoplasia in children exposed in utero due to maternal ingestion of high doses of quinine.

In animal developmental studies conducted in multiple animal species, pregnant animals received quinine by the subcutaneous or intramuscular route at dose levels similar to the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD; 32 mg/kg/day) based on body surface area (BSA) comparisons. There were increases in fetal death in utero in rabbits at maternal doses ≥ 100 mg/kg/day and in dogs at ≥ 15 mg/kg/day corresponding to dose levels approximately 0.5 and 0.25 times the MRHD respectively based on BSA comparisons. Rabbit offspring had increased rates of degenerated auditory nerve and spiral ganglion and increased rates of CNS anomalies such as anencephaly and microcephaly at a dose of 130 mg/kg/day corresponding to a maternal dose approximately 1.3 times the MRHD based on BSA comparison. Guinea pig offspring had increased rates of hemorrhage and mitochondrial change in the cochlea at maternal doses of 200 mg/kg corresponding to a dose level of approximately 1.4 times the MRHD based on BSA comparison. There were no teratogenic findings in rats at maternal doses up to 300 mg/kg/day and in monkeys at doses up to 200 mg/kg/day corresponding to doses approximately 1 and 2 times the MRHD respectively based on BSA comparisons.

In a pre- postnatal study in rats, an estimated oral dose of quinine sulfate of 20 mg/kg/day corresponding to approximately 0.1 times the MRHD based on BSA comparison resulted in offspring with impaired growth, lower body weights at birth and during the lactation period, and delayed physical development of teeth eruption and eye opening during the lactation period.

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