Quinine and severe falciparum malaria in late pregnancy.
Looareesuwan S., Phillips RE., White NJ., Kietinun S., Karbwang J., Rackow C., Turner RC., Warrell DA.
Quinine dihydrochloride was given intravenously to 12 women with severe falciparum malaria in the third trimester of pregnancy. The initial dose consisted of 10 or 20 mg salt/kg over 4 h and was followed by 10 mg salt/kg every 8 h until patients were fit to swallow, when quinine sulphate tablets were given. Uterine activity showed little or no change despite rising quinine concentrations. Of 3 patients in labour, 2 proceeded normally while a third had a successful caesarean section for fetal distress. Late (type II) decelerations of the fetal heart rate were recorded in 6 patients before treatment but in most patients signs of fetal distress diminished as the maternal temperature fell. Hypoglycaemia and hyperinsulinaemia developed in 7 patients, in 2 before quinine was started. The important toxic effect of quinine in late pregnancy is not an oxytocic action but rather its capacity to release insulin.