What is praziquantel?
Praziquantel is used to treat infections caused by schistosoma worms, which enter the body through skin that has come into contact with contaminated water. Schistosoma worms are found in Africa, South America, Middle Eastern countries, the Caribbean, and parts of Asia.
Praziquantel is also used to treat infection with liver flukes, caused by a type of worm found in East Asia. This worm enters the body while eating contaminated fish.
Praziquantel is for use in adults and children who are at least 1 year old.
Praziquantel may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not take praziquantel if you are allergic to praziquantel, or if you have taken rifampin in the last 4 weeks.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use praziquantel if you are allergic to it, or if:
- you have a parasitic infection in your eye; or
- you have taken rifampin within the past 4 weeks.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- lumps (nodules) under your skin;
- seizures or epilepsy;
- liver disease; or
- heart problems.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
How should I take praziquantel?
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Praziquantel is usually taken 3 times in one day. Take your doses 4 to 6 hours apart on that day.
Praziquantel should be taken with a meal and a full glass (8 ounces) of water.
You may need to break a praziquantel tablet in order to get the correct dose. Follow your doctor’s instructions.
Do not chew the tablet or portion of a tablet. The bitter taste of the tablet could cause you to gag or vomit.
If the child taking praziquantel cannot swallow a tablet or tablet portion whole, crush the tablet and mix it with a liquid or semi-solid food. The child should swallow the mixture right away without chewing.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Detailed Praziquantel dosage information
What happens if I miss a dose?
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking praziquantel?
Avoid driving or hazardous activity on the day you take praziquantel, and also the day after. Your reactions could be impaired.
Grapefruit may interact with praziquantel and lead to unwanted side effects. Avoid the use of grapefruit products.
Praziquantel side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- fever, chills, sore throat, headache, body aches, tiredness, not feeling well;
- slow or irregular heartbeats;
- stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, nausea;
- a seizure;
- trouble concentrating; or
- cold sweats, skin irritation.
Common side effects may include:
- general ill feeling;
- headache, dizziness;
- nausea, stomach discomfort;
- fever; or
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Praziquantel side effects (more detail)