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BackgroundThe varied disposition of the antimalarial quinine partly explains its poor tolerance and toxicity in humans.ObjectiveUsing a population approach, the disposition of quinine in healthy subjects and patients with acute uncomplicated symptomatic malaria from Nigeria was re-examined with a view to providing population-specific attributes.MethodsConcentration versus time profiles of quinine over 48 hours in healthy individuals, and over 7 days in malaria-infected patients, were stratified to reflect: concentration versus time data during the first 48 hours of quinine administration for healthy subjects and infected patients, concentration versus time data after 48 hours in infected patients, and all concentration versus time data available for healthy subjects and infected patients. Pharmacokinetic parameters were then estimated with a stochastic approximation expectation maximization algorithm.ResultsAll datasets were fitted by a 1-compartment model with covariate contributions from body weight and infection status. The absorption rate constant, and volume of distribution and clearance were 1.72 h-1, 86.8 to 157.4 L, and 6.6 to 9.6 L/h, respectively. Infected patients experienced a 38% decrease in volume of distribution and a 31% decrease in clearance in the first 48 hours relative to healthy individuals. The contraction in volume of distribution and clearance diminished significantly after 48 hours of chronic quinine dosing in infected patients.ConclusionsThe study findings suggest that clinical interventions aimed at enhancing the safety and tolerance of quinine might be achieved by a rational decrease in dose size and/or dosing interval, post-48 hours of chronic quinine administration, in malaria-infected patients.

Original publication




Journal article


Current therapeutic research, clinical and experimental

Publication Date





33 - 38


Institute of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou, China.