Registration Dossier

Data platform availability banner - registered substances factsheets

Please be aware that this old REACH registration data factsheet is no longer maintained; it remains frozen as of 19th May 2023.

The new ECHA CHEM database has been released by ECHA, and it now contains all REACH registration data. There are more details on the transition of ECHA's published data to ECHA CHEM here.

Diss Factsheets

Administrative data

Description of key information

Quinine is a contact sensitizer. In the case reports, all patients became sensitized after exposure. But quinine is not irritating to eyes since quinine bisulphate has been used for a number of years as a clarifier of corneal opacities and to improve granular ophthalmia.

Additional information

Direct observations: clinical cases, poisoning incidents and other:

In the experiential report of the Department of Dermatology, Royal Free Hospital, London published by Calnan, 1961 the skin irritation and skin sensitisation of quinine was described. A variety of dermatoses have been described in patients taking quinine systemically, and contact dermatitis follow the topical application of quinine. These eruptions are thought to be based on an allergic process. Quinine, even in high concentration, has no irritant or direct toxic action on the skin.

Sensitisation data:

For testing the skin sensitisation, five patients expected to be sensitive to quinine were tested with a standard patch test. All five patients reacted to a 2% solution of quinine sulphate. The patients became sensitized after exposure. In a second case report 15 of 23 workers suggested that the skin eruption had been work-related. Quinine was held to be responsible by 13 workers. In a patch-test 12 of these 15 patients suspected to be sensitized to quinine or quinidine only one positive patch test were obtained for quinine alkaloid. In the two case reports the patch test was strongly positive at 48 h to 1% aqueous quinine sulfate in case report 1 and positive to 0.01%, 0.1% and 1% quinine dihydrochloride in case report 2. Quinine is a contact allergen.

Exposure related observations in humans:

Quinine bisulphate ointment has been used for a number of years as a clarifier of corneal opacities through its destruction of lymphocytes and leukocytes. In the two case reports a 2 % quinine bisulphate ointment was used post-operative to improve the regeneration. Furthermore, experiments have shown that quinine is one of the most effective antiseptics. Therefore, quinine bisulphat powder was used to improve granular ophthalmia. In all five case reports the eyes improved rapidly, the granulations became smaller and the intolerance of light disappeared completely within four days after using the quinine bisulphate powder. Thus, it can be conclude that quinine is not irritating to eyes.