The term “quinism” may seem new, but no doubt the symptoms of poisoning by mefloquine (previously marketed as Lariam®), tafenoquine (marketed as Krintafel® and Arakoda™), and related quinoline drugs are all too familiar: Tinnitus. Dizziness. Vertigo. Paresthesias. Visual disturbances. Gastroesophageal and intestinal problems. Nightmares. Insomnia. Sleep apnea. Anxiety. Agoraphobia. Paranoia. Cognitive dysfunction. Depression. Personality change. Suicidal thoughts.
These symptoms are not ‘side effects’. They are symptoms of poisoning by a class of drug that is neurotoxic and that injures the brain and brainstem. Poisoning that causes a disease.
This disease has a name. The disease is chronic quinoline encephalopathy — also known as neuropsychiatric quinism.
The Quinism Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization established to support education and research on chronic quinoline encephalopathy and other medical conditions caused by poisoning, or intoxication, by mefloquine, tafenoquine, and related quinoline drugs. The Quinism Foundation is proud to join the VA’s National Center for PTSD in making the beautiful village of White River Junction, Vermont its home.
The foundation has an enormous job ahead. We must prepare healthcare organizations to identify those exposed to quinolines and to screen for symptomatic quinoline exposure. We must educate clinicians to diagnose chronic quinoline encephalopathy and other medical conditions caused by quinoline poisoning. We must train researchers to distinguish the effects of quinism from those of other disorders, including Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). We must assist government agencies to recognize those suffering disability from quinism. We must identify risk factors for the disease. We must attempt to count all those affected. And, we must support a search for effective treatments.
Please take a moment to sign up for our mailing list. In the coming weeks, you will begin to receive regular updates from the foundation. You will also learn about how to get involved and support the foundation’s activities, and to donate in support of research and education. The foundation is proud to be listed as a registered charity in the PayPal Giving Fund, on Amazon Smile, and in the Network for Good’s donor-advised fund. You can also read more about the foundation’s charitable activities by reviewing our listing on Guidestar.
In the meantime, you can learn more by reading this press release announcing the foundation’s incorporation.
On behalf of The Quinism Foundation, I thank you in advance for your support. I am confident that together, we can make a difference in the fight against quinism. I hope that you will join us.
Remington Nevin, MD, MPH, DrPH
Executive Director, The Quinism Foundation