Generic Name: Praziquantel Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Uses

What is Praziquantel used for?

Praziquantel is used to treat infections of certain parasites (e.g., Schistosoma and liver flukes). Curing parasitic infections helps to improve your health and quality of life. Praziquantel belongs to a class of drugs known as antihelmintics. It works by killing the parasites. It also paralyzes the parasites, causing them to release their hold on the blood vessel walls so the body can remove them naturally.

How should I take Praziquantel?

Take this medication by mouth with food, usually 3 times a day (4 to 6 hours apart) for 1 day or as directed by your doctor. Quickly swallow the tablets or tablet segments with a full glass of water (8 ounces or 240 milliliters). Do not chew or suck the tablets because the bitter taste of praziquantel may cause gagging or vomiting. Your doctor may direct you to take this medication fewer than 3 times a day or to take it for longer than 1 day. Follow your doctor’s directions exactly.

Dosage is based on your medical condition, weight, and response to treatment. Tablets are scored with lines. You may need to break the tablet to get the correct dose. Ask your pharmacist for directions on breaking the tablet to get the right dose for you.

Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while using this medication unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.

Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.

How do I store Praziquantel?

Praziquantel is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Praziquantel in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Praziquantel that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Praziquantel down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Praziquantel?

Before taking praziquantel, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: parasitic eye infection (ocular cysticercosis).

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease/enlarged spleen, heart disease/irregular heart rhythm, parasitic brain infection (cerebral cysticercosis), seizures.

This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy during treatment until the day after treatment. Alcohol or marijuana can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

This drug passes into breast milk. Breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Nursing mothers should temporarily stop breast-feeding on the day of treatment and for 72 hours after taking the last dose. Pump and discard breast milk during this time.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this Praziquantel during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Praziquantel. Praziquantel is pregnancy risk category B according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Praziquantel?

Headache, dizziness, stomach pain, nausea, tiredness, weakness, joint/muscle pain, loss of appetite, vomiting, and sweating may occur. These side effects are usually mild and temporary and may be symptoms of your parasite infection and/or the dying parasites. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: bloody diarrhea, fever, irregular/slow heartbeat, seizures.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Praziquantel?

Other medications can affect the removal of praziquantel from your body, which may affect how praziquantel works. Examples include azole antifungals (such as itraconazole, ketoconazole), chloroquine, cimetidine, dexamethasone, macrolide antibiotics (such as erythromycin), rifamycins (such as rifampin), St. John’s wort, and some drugs used to treat seizures (such as carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital, primidone), among others.

Praziquantel may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with Praziquantel?

Praziquantel may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Praziquantel?

Praziquantel may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this Praziquantel.

What is the dose of Praziquantel for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Schistosoma japonicum

60 mg/kg/day orally in 2 or 3 divided doses

Duration of therapy: 1 day

Comments:

-Retreatment in 2 to 6 weeks has been reported to increase cure.

-Considered the drug of choice

Usual Adult Dose for Schistosoma mekongi

60 mg/kg/day orally in 2 or 3 divided doses

Duration of therapy: 1 day

Comments:

-Retreatment in 2 to 6 weeks has been reported to increase cure.

-Considered the drug of choice

Usual Adult Dose for Schistosoma haematobium

60 mg/kg/day orally in 3 divided doses or 40 mg/kg/day orally in 1 to 2 divided doses

Duration of therapy: 1 day

Comments:

-Retreatment in 2 to 6 weeks has been reported to increase cure.

-Considered the drug of choice

Usual Adult Dose for Schistosoma mansoni

60 mg/kg/day orally in 3 divided doses or 40 mg/kg/day orally in 1 to 2 divided doses

Duration of therapy: 1 day

Comments:

-Retreatment in 2 to 6 weeks has been reported to increase cure.

-Considered the drug of choice

Usual Adult Dose for Opisthorchis viverrini (Liver Fluke)

75 mg/kg/day orally in 3 divided doses

Duration of therapy: 1 to 2 days

Comments:

-Considered the drug of choice

Usual Adult Dose for Clornorchis sinensis (Liver Fluke)

75 mg/kg/day orally in 3 divided doses

Duration of therapy: 1 to 2 days

Comments:

-Considered the drug of choice

Usual Adult Dose for Fasciolopsis buski (Intestinal Fluke)

75 mg/kg/day orally in 3 divided doses

Duration of therapy: 1 day

Comments:

-Considered the drug of choice

Usual Adult Dose for Heterophyes heterophyes (Intestinal Fluke)

75 mg/kg/day orally in 3 divided doses

Duration of therapy: 1 day

Comments:

-Considered the drug of choice

Usual Adult Dose for Metagonimus yokogawai (Intestinal Fluke)

75 mg/kg/day orally in 3 divided doses

Duration of therapy: 1 day

Comments:

-Considered the drug of choice

Usual Adult Dose for Nanophyetus salmincola

60 mg/kg/day orally in 3 divided doses

Duration of therapy: 1 day

Comments:

-Considered the drug of choice

Usual Adult Dose for Paragonimus westermani (Lung Fluke)

75 mg/kg/day orally in 3 divided doses

Duration of therapy: 2 days

Comments:

-Considered the drug of choice

Case Report (n=1)

75 mg/kg/day for 3 days

Usual Adult Dose for Diphyllobothrium latum (Fish Tapeworm)

5 to 10 mg/kg orally once

Comments:

-For the intestinal (adult) stage

-Considered the drug of choice

Usual Adult Dose for Dipylidium caninum (Dog Tapeworm)

5 to 10 mg/kg orally once

Comments:

-For the intestinal (adult) stage

-Considered the drug of choice

Usual Adult Dose for Taenia saginata (beef tapeworm)

5 to 10 mg/kg orally once

Comments:

-For the intestinal (adult) stage

-Considered the drug of choice

Usual Adult Dose for Taenia solium (pork tapeworm)

5 to 10 mg/kg orally once

Comments:

-For the intestinal (adult) stage

-Considered the drug of choice

Usual Adult Dose for Hymenolepis nana (Dwarf Tapeworm)

25 mg/kg orally once

Comments:

-For the intestinal (adult) stage

-Considered the drug of choice

Usual Adult Dose for Cysticercus cellulosae (Cysticercosis)

50 mg/kg/day orally

Duration of therapy: 15 days

Comments:

-For the tissue (larval) stage

-Recommended as alternative therapy

-The daily dose has been given in 3 divided doses.

-Current guidelines should be consulted for additional information.

Renal Dose Adjustments

No adjustment recommended.

Liver Dose Adjustments

Hepatosplenic schistosomiasis patients with moderate to severe liver dysfunction (Child-Pugh B and C): Usual dose should be used with caution.

Other Comments

Administration advice:

-Swallow tablets or portions of tablets whole without chewing; take with water during meals.

-The time interval between individual doses should not be less than 4 hours and not more than 6 hours.

General:

-When schistosomiasis or fluke infection is associated with cerebral cysticercosis, hospitalization of the patient for the duration of therapy is recommended.

-Tablets have 3 scores; each segment contains 150 mg of praziquantel. Portions are broken off by pressing the score with thumbnails; for 1/4 of a tablet, the portion from the outer end should be broken off.

Patient advice:

-Do not keep tablets or portions of tablets in your mouth; the bitter taste may cause gagging or vomiting.

-Do not drive or operate heavy machinery on the day of and during the 24 hours after treatment; the drug may cause dizziness or drowsiness.

What is the dose of Praziquantel for a child?

Usual Pediatric Dose for Schistosoma mekongi

4 years or older: 60 mg/kg/day orally in 3 divided doses

Duration of therapy: 1 day

Comments:

-Retreatment in 2 to 6 weeks has been reported to increase cure.

-Considered the drug of choice

Usual Pediatric Dose for Schistosoma haematobium

4 years or older: 60 mg/kg/day orally in 3 divided doses or 40 mg/kg/day orally in 2 divided doses

Duration of therapy: 1 day

Comments:

-Retreatment in 2 to 6 weeks has been reported to increase cure.

-Considered the drug of choice

Usual Pediatric Dose for Schistosoma mansoni

4 years or older: 60 mg/kg/day orally in 3 divided doses or 40 mg/kg/day orally in 2 divided doses

Duration of therapy: 1 day

Comments:

-Retreatment in 2 to 6 weeks has been reported to increase cure.

-Considered the drug of choice

Usual Pediatric Dose for Opisthorchis viverrini (Liver Fluke)

4 years or older: 75 mg/kg/day orally in 3 divided doses

Duration of therapy: 1 to 2 days

Comments:

-Considered the drug of choice

Usual Pediatric Dose for Clornorchis sinensis (Liver Fluke)

4 years or older: 75 mg/kg/day orally in 3 divided doses

Duration of therapy: 1 to 2 days

Comments:

-Considered the drug of choice

Usual Pediatric Dose for Fasciolopsis buski (Intestinal Fluke)

4 years or older: 75 mg/kg/day orally in 3 divided doses

Duration of therapy: 1 day

Comments:

-Considered the drug of choice

Usual Pediatric Dose for Heterophyes heterophyes (Intestinal Fluke)

4 years or older: 75 mg/kg/day orally in 3 divided doses

Duration of therapy: 1 day

Comments:

-Considered the drug of choice

Usual Pediatric Dose for Metagonimus yokogawai (Intestinal Fluke)

4 years or older: 75 mg/kg/day orally in 3 divided doses

Duration of therapy: 1 day

Comments:

-Considered the drug of choice

Usual Pediatric Dose for Nanophyetus salmincola

4 years or older: 60 mg/kg/day orally in 3 divided doses

Duration of therapy: 1 day

Comments:

-Considered the drug of choice

Usual Pediatric Dose for Paragonimus westermani (Lung Fluke)

4 years or older: 75 mg/kg/day orally in 3 divided doses

Duration of therapy: 2 days

Comments:

-Considered the drug of choice

Usual Pediatric Dose for Diphyllobothrium latum (Fish Tapeworm)

4 years or older: 5 to 10 mg/kg orally once

Comments:

-For the intestinal (adult) stage

-Considered the drug of choice

Usual Pediatric Dose for Dipylidium caninum (Dog Tapeworm)

4 years or older: 5 to 10 mg/kg orally once

Comments:

-For the intestinal (adult) stage

-Considered the drug of choice

Usual Pediatric Dose for Taenia saginata (beef tapeworm)

4 years or older: 5 to 10 mg/kg orally once

Comments:

-For the intestinal (adult) stage

-Considered the drug of choice

Usual Pediatric Dose for Taenia solium (pork tapeworm)

4 years or older: 5 to 10 mg/kg orally once

Comments:

-For the intestinal (adult) stage

-Considered the drug of choice

Usual Pediatric Dose for Hymenolepis nana (Dwarf Tapeworm)

4 years or older: 25 mg/kg orally once

Comments:

-For the intestinal (adult) stage

-Considered the drug of choice

Usual Pediatric Dose for Cysticercus cellulosae (Cysticercosis)

4 years or older: 50 mg/kg/day orally

Duration of therapy: 15 days

Comments:

-For the tissue (larval) stage

-Recommended as alternative therapy

-The daily dose has been given in 3 divided doses.

-Current guidelines should be consulted for additional information.

Precautions

Safety has not been established in patients younger than 4 years.

How is Praziquantel available?

Praziquantel is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Oral tablet,
  • Compounding powder.

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Praziquantel, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

 

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: April 20, 2018 | Last Modified: April 20, 2018

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