Preferred Sample Type


Suitable Specimen Types

  • Serum
  • EDTA Plasma
  • Li Hep Plasma
A minimum of 500 µl of plasma/serum is required.

Specimen Transport

First class post

Sample Processing in Laboratory

Place sample in toxicology rack.

Sample Preparation

None required

Turnaround Time

3 days.

Sample Stability

Keep refrigerated. 4 degrees.


General Information

Quinine is the primary alkaloid of cinchona bark, which was used for centuries in the treatment of malaria. Quinine has been replaced to a large extent in modern therapy by the synthetic agents, but is still used for the relief of skeletal muscle cramps. It may also be found as an adulterant in heroin and is also present in small amounts in tonic water.

Adverse reactions to quinine include tinnitus, deafness, dizziness, visual difficulties and gastrointestinal disturbances; this spectrum of effects is known as cinchonism. Convulsions, cyanosis, hypotension, cardiac arrhythmias, coma, blindness and renal damage have been noted in cases of acute poisoning; haemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis was usually effective in attenuating the intoxication. 

Patient Preparation

For TDM, sample should be taken prior to dose. If toxicity is suspected, take sample at earliest opportunity


Quinine measured by HPLC-DAD.



Reference Range

Therapeutic range: 1.0 - 7.0 mg/L. Toxic:  >10  mg/L. (Schulz et al. Critical Care 2012, 16:R136).


  • EQA Scheme?: Yes

Copyright heftpathology 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

HTA licence number is 12366

Protection of Personal Information – Laboratory Medicine comply with the Trust Data Protection Policy and have procedures in place to allow the Directorate and it’s employees to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 and associated best practice and guidance.

The Trust Laboratories at Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and Solihull Hospital were awarded UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accreditation to the internationally recognised ISO 15189 standard in May 2015. For a list of accredited tests and other information please visit the test database
Tests not appearing on this scope are either under consideration or in the process of accreditation and so currently remain outside of our scope of accreditation. However, these tests have been validated to the same high standard as accredited tests and are performed by the same trained and competent staff.

For further information contact Louise Fallon, Quality Manager, 0121 424 1235

UKAS Logos