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[Muscle cramps: reevaluation of the effectiveness of quinine salts]

Author(s): Villani P, Mugnier B, Bouvenot G

Affiliation(s): Laboratoire de Therapeutique et de Methodologie des Essais cliniques, Faculte de Medecine de Marseille.

Publication date & source: 1999-07-03, Presse Med., 28(24):1309-12.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Clinical Trial, Phase II; Comparative Study ; English Abstract; Randomized Controlled Trial

COMMONLY PRESCRIBED DRUGS: The official French regulatory indication for quinine salts simply states that they can be used as supplementary therapy for nighttime muscle cramps. This type of statement does not indicate a high level of proof of efficacy. Quinine salts are widely prescribed in developed countries. SECONDARY EFFECTS: Drug monitoring surveys have recorded severe adverse effects, particularly sometimes fatal thrombocytopenia. EFFICACITY REVISITED: In this context, we present a critical review of 10 comparative randomized double-blind clinical trials conducted since 1983 and of a meta-analysis published in 1995. The results of these studies are rather difficult to interpret and sometimes contradictory. When an effect is evidenced, it is incomplete and only concerns the number of cramps experienced with no effect on severity or duration. In addition, no precise information is available concerning dose, optimal treatment duration and relapse. Consequently, an irrefutable demonstration of the efficacy of this type of product is still lacking.

Page last updated: 2007-05-03

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