Cinchona is a tree. People use the bark to make medicine.
Cinchona is used for increasing appetite; promoting the release of digestive juices; and treating bloating, fullness, and other stomach problems. It is also used for blood vessel disorders including hemorrhoids, varicose veins, and leg cramps. Some people use cinchona for mild attacks of influenza, swine flu, the common cold, malaria, and fever. Other uses are for cancer, mouth and throat diseases, enlarged spleen, and muscle cramps.
Cinchona is used in eye lotions to numb pain, kill germs, and as an astringent. Cinchona extract is also applied to the skin for hemorrhoids, stimulating hair growth, and managing varicose veins.
How it works
Cinchona bark stimulates saliva and stomach (gastric) juice secretion. It contains quinine, which is a chemical used to treat malaria.
Cinchona bark contains quinine and related chemicals. While quinine is effective for preventing malaria and controlling its symptoms, people who take cinchona bark are exposed to risky side effects. Some of the chemicals in cinchona can slow the heart, cause constipation, and affect the central nervous system. Medical experts recommend that only purified quinine or other appropriate medications be used to prevent or control malaria. U.S. drug regulations require products containing cinchona to include labeling that states, "Discontinue use if ringing in the ears, deafness, skin rash or visual disturbances occur."
However, in large amounts, cinchona is UNSAFE and can be deadly. Symptoms of overdose include ringing of the ears, headache, nausea, diarrhea, and vision disturbances. Cinchona can also cause bleeding and allergic reactions, including hives and fever.
Cinchona bark seems to be safe for most people when used appropriately
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Don't use cinchona if you arepregnantorbreast-feeding. There is some evidence that cinchona isUNSAFEto use duringpregnancy. Not much is known about the safety of using cinchona if you are breast-feeding, so it's best to avoid it.Are there any interactions with medications?
Stomach or intestinal ulcers: Don't use cinchona if you have ulcers. It might increase the risk of bleeding.
Surgery: Cinchona can slow blood clotting, so there is a concern that it might increase the risk of extra bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using cinchona at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Cinchona contains quinidine. Taking quinidine along with cinchona can increase the effects and side effects of quinidine and cause heart problems. Do not take cinchona if you are taking quinidine.Quinine
Cinchona contains quinine. Taking quinine along with cinchona can increase the effects and side effects of quinine and cause heart problems. Do not take cinchona if you are taking quinine.
The body breaks down carbamazepine to get rid of it. Cinchona contains quinine. Quinine can cause the body to break down carbamazepine (Tegretol) too quickly. Taking cinchona along with carbamazepine (Tegretol) can decrease the effectiveness of carbamazepine (Tegretol).Phenobarbital (Luminal)
Cinchona might slow blood clotting. Taking cinchona along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.Cinchona contains quinine. Quinine might increase how much phenobarbital (Luminal) is in the body. Taking cinchona with phenobarbital might increase the effects and side effects of phenobarbital.
MinorMedications that decrease stomach acid (Proton pump inhibitors)
Antacids are used to decrease stomach acid. Cinchona may increase stomach acid. By increasing stomach acid, cinchona might decrease the effectiveness of antacids.Some antacids include calcium carbonate (Tums, others), dihydroxyaluminum sodium carbonate (Rolaids, others), magaldrate (Riopan), magnesium sulfate (Bilagog), aluminum hydroxide (Amphojel), and others.Cinchona might increase stomach acid. By increasing stomach acid, cinchona might decrease the effectiveness of some medications that decrease stomach acid, called H2-blockers.Some medications that decrease stomach acid include cimetidine (Tagamet), ranitidine (Zantac), nizatidine (Axid), and famotidine (Pepcid).Cinchona might increase stomach acid. By increasing stomach acid, cinchona might decrease the effectiveness of medications that are used to decrease stomach acid, called proton pump inhibitors.Some medications that decrease stomach acid include omeprazole (Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid), rabeprazole (Aciphex), pantoprazole (Protonix), and esomeprazole (Nexium).