Generic Name: praziquantel (PRAZ i KWON tel)Brand Names: Biltricide
Praziquantel is an anthelmintic (an-thel-MIN-tik) or anti-worm medication. It prevents newly hatched insect larvae (worms) from growing or multiplying in your body.
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 Carribean, 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 should not be used to treat parasitic infections in the eye.
Praziquantel may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.What is the most important information I should know about Biltricide (praziquantel)?Do not use this medication if you are allergic to praziquantel, or if you are also taking rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate).
Before taking praziquantel, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, heart disease, or liver disease.Do not give this medication to a child younger than 4 years old. Praziquantel can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. Praziquantel should be taken with a meal. Do not crush or chew the praziquantel tablet. Swallow the pill whole. Take this medication with a full glass (8 ounces) of water.What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Biltricide (praziquantel)?Do not use this medication if you are allergic to praziquantel, or if you are also taking rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate).
If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take this medication:
heart disease; or
Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.Take this medication with a full glass (8 ounces) of water.
Praziquantel is usually taken 3 times in one day. Your doses should be taken 4 to 6 hours apart on that day.Praziquantel should be taken with a meal.
You may need to break a praziquantel tablet in order to get the correct dose. Follow your doctor's instructions.Do not crush or chew the praziquantel tablet or portion of a tablet. Swallow the pill whole. Store praziquantel at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
See also: Biltricide dosage in more detail
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Keep taking any remaining doses for the day on schedule, every 4 to 6 hours as directed. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with praziquantel and lead to potentially dangerous effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor. Do not increase or decrease the amount of grapefruit products in your diet without first talking to your doctor.
Less serious side effects may include:
nausea, upset stomach;
mild fever; or
mild skin rash.
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.
Tell your doctor about all other medications you are using, especially:
itraconazole (Sporanox) or ketoconazole (Nizoral);
dexamethasone (Decadron, Hexadrol);
erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin);
St. John's wort;
rifabutin (Mycobutin) or rifapentine (Priftin);
a barbiturate such as amobarbital (Amytal), butabarbital (Butisol), mephobarbital (Mebaral), secobarbital (Seconal), or phenobarbital (Solfoton);
HIV medication such as efavirenz (Sustiva), etravirine (Intelence), nevirapine (Viramune), or ritonavir (Norvir);
medicines to treat narcolepsy, such as armodafanil (Nuvigil) or modafanil (Progivil); or
seizure medication such as carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol), felbamate (Felbatol), oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), or phenytoin (Dilantin), or primidone (Mysoline).
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with praziquantel. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.