Chemical: Drug

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2D structure from PubChem
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Generic Names
  • Quinacrine Dihydrochloride
Trade Names
  • Acrichine
  • Acrinamine
  • Acriquine
  • Akrichin
  • Antimalarina
  • Atabrine
  • Atebrin
  • Atebrine
  • Erion
  • Erion Hydrochloride
  • Haffkinine
  • Italchine
  • Mepacrine
  • Quinactine
Brand Mixture Names

PharmGKB Accession Id





An acridine derivative formerly widely used as an antimalarial but superseded by chloroquine in recent years. It has also been used as an anthelmintic and in the treatment of giardiasis and malignant effusions. It is used in cell biological experiments as an inhibitor of phospholipase A2.

Source: Drug Bank


For the treatment of giardiasis and cutaneous leishmaniasis and the management of malignant effusions.

Source: Drug Bank

Other Vocabularies

Information pulled from DrugBank has not been reviewed by PharmGKB.

Pharmacology, Interactions, and Contraindications

Mechanism of Action

The exact mechanism of antiparasitic action is unknown; however, quinacrine binds to deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in vitro by intercalation between adjacent base pairs, inhibiting transcription and translation to ribonucleic acid (RNA). Quinacrine does not appear to localize to the nucleus of Giaridia trophozoites, suggesting that DNA binding may not be the primary mechanism of its antimicrobial action. Fluorescence studies using Giardia suggest that the outer membranes may be involved. Quinacrine inhibits succinate oxidation and interferes with electron transport. In addition, by binding to nucleoproteins, quinacrine suppress the lupus erythematous cell factor and acts as a strong inhibitor of cholinesterase.

Source: Drug Bank


Quinacrine has been used as an antimalarial drug and as an antibiotic. It is used to treat giardiasis, a protozoal infection of the intestinal tract, and certain types of lupus erythematosus, an inflammatory disease that affects the joints, tendons, and other connective tissues and organs. Quinacrine may be injected into the space surrounding the lungs to prevent reoccurrence of pneumothorax. The exact way in which quinacrine works is unknown. It appears to interfere with the parasite's metabolism.

Source: Drug Bank

Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, Elimination & Toxicity

Protein Binding


Source: Drug Bank


Absorbed rapidly from the gastrointestinal tract following oral administration.

Source: Drug Bank


5 to 14 days

Source: Drug Bank


Oral, rat: LD 50 = 900 mg/kg; Oral, mouse: LD 50 = 1000 mg/kg. Symptoms of overdose include seizures, hypotension, cardiac arrhythmias, and cardiovascular collapse.

Source: Drug Bank

Chemical Properties

Chemical Formula


Source: Drug Bank

Isomeric SMILES


Source: OpenEye

Canonical SMILES


Source: Drug Bank

Average Molecular Weight


Source: Drug Bank

Monoisotopic Molecular Weight


Source: Drug Bank

Publications related to quinacrine: 3

No Dosing Guideline available No Drug Label available No Clinical Annotation available No Variant Annotation available No VIP available No VIP available
Medications and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency: an evidence-based review. Drug safety : an international journal of medical toxicology and drug experience. 2010. Youngster Ilan, et al. PubMed
No Dosing Guideline available No Drug Label available No Clinical Annotation available No Variant Annotation available No VIP available No VIP available
Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency. Lancet. 2008. Cappellini M D, et al. PubMed
No Dosing Guideline available No Drug Label available No Clinical Annotation available No Variant Annotation available No VIP available No VIP available
G6PD deficiency: the genotype-phenotype association. Blood reviews. 2007. Mason Philip J, et al. PubMed


Web Resource:
KEGG Compound:
PubChem Compound:
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Therapeutic Targets Database:

Clinical Trials

These are trials that mention quinacrine and are related to either pharmacogenetics or pharmacogenomics.

No trials found.

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Sources for PharmGKB drug information: DrugBank, Open Eye Scientific Software.