Meds and you

30 September 2013

Praziquantel

Praziquantel is an antihelmintic drug. Antihelmintic drugs are drugs that are used in the treatment of worm infestations.

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Praziquantel is the active ingredient of Cysticide (Nappi code: 717169-006) and Biltricide (Nappi code: 708607-004/012).

General information
Praziquantel is an antihelmintic drug. Antihelmintic drugs are drugs that are used in the treatment of worm infestations.

In South Africa praziquantel is registered for the primary treatment of bilharzia, intestinal tapeworm infections, flatworm and cysticercosis, a condition where a larval form of a tapeworm has embedded itself in the tissue of its host, often the brain.

Adverse effects with praziquantel are minimal and usually self-limiting. It should however be noted that praziquantel may cause temporary drowsiness or dizziness. This may affect your ability to drive or to perform tasks requiring mental alertness.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: schedule 4
Available as: praziquantel is available as tablets.
What does it do? Pyrantel used in the treatment of worm infestations.
Overdose risk: medium
Dependence risk: low
Is Praziquantel available as a generic? yes
Is Praziquantel available on prescription only? yes

User information
Dietary advice: the dose of praziquantel should be swallowed whole after a meal.

Special precautions
Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • you are in your first trimester of pregnancy

  • you are breastfeeding

Pregnancy: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before using this drug, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.
Breastfeeding: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before use.
Porphyria: avoid. This medication may cause serious adverse effects. Consult your doctor before use.
Infants and children: this medication is not intended for use in children under the age of 2 years.
The elderly: no special precautions need to be taken.
Driving and hazardous work: caution is advised as use of this medication may lead to dizziness, light-headedness and/or sedation. Avoid such activities until you know how this medication affects you.
Alcohol: avoid concomitant use of alcohol with this medication.

Possible side effects

Side Effect
Frequency
Consult your doctor

Common
Rare
Only if severe
In all cases
general unwell feeling
X

X

abdominal pain
X

X

diarrhoea
X

X

nausea/vomiting
X

X

itching

X
X

drowsiness

X
X

joint pain

X
X

fever

X

X
convulsions

X

X
severe headache

X

X
palpitations

X
X

Interactions

albendazole risk of albendazole toxicity
carbamazepine decreased effect of praziquantel
phenytoin decreased effect of praziquantel
chloroquine decreased effect of praziquantel
dexamethasone decreased effect of praziquantel
cimetidine increased risk of praziquantel toxicity

Overdose action
A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large overdose seek emergency medical attention.

Recommended dosage
Adults: one dose of 40 mg/kg body mass or two doses of 20 mg/kg body mass within 4-6 hours

This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.
 
 

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