quinidine

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quinidine

(kwĭn`ĭdēn'), heart muscle relaxant used to maintain regular heart rhythm patterns. It is an alkaloidalkaloid,
any of a class of organic compounds composed of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and usually oxygen that are often derived from plants. Although the name means alkalilike, some alkaloids do not exhibit alkaline properties.
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 chemically similar to quininequinine
, white crystalline alkaloid with a bitter taste. Before the development of more effective synthetic drugs such as quinacrine, chloroquine, and primaquine, quinine was the specific agent in the treatment of malaria.
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 and, like quinine, occurs naturally in some species of cinchona trees. Quinidine slows the rate of blood flow in heart chambers and lowers the excitability of the muscle. Quinidine is a general relaxant of smooth muscle and acts as a dilator of larger blood vessels. It has also been used to reduce fever and to treat malaria. Synchronized electric shock has largely replaced quinidine as a method of establishing more normal heart rhythms.

quinidine

[′kwin·ə‚dēn]
(organic chemistry)
C20H24N2O2 A crystalline alkaloid that melts at 174-175°C (345-347°F) and that may be derived from the bark of cinchona; used as the salt in medicine. Also known as β-quinine.