REVIEW The theorized mechanism of action for quinine and related anti-malarial drugs is that these drugs are toxic to the malaria parasite. Specifically, the drugs interfere with the parasite's ability to break down and digest hemoglobin. Consequently, the parasite starves and/or builds up toxic levels of partially degraded hemoglobin in itself.
Paintaud G, Alvan G, Berninger E, Gustafsson LL, Idrizbegovic E, Karlsson KK, Wakelkamp M: The concentration-effect relationship of quinine-induced hearing impairment. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1994 Mar;55(3):317-23.
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