WHO Model Prescribing Information: Drugs Used in Parasitic Diseases - Second Edition
(1995; 152 pages) [French] [Spanish] View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentPreface
Open this folder and view contentsProtozoa
Close this folderHelminths
Close this folderCestode (tapeworm) infection
View the documentAlbendazole
View the documentMebendazole
View the documentNiclosamide
View the documentPraziquantel
Open this folder and view contentsIntestinal nematode infection
View the documentTissue nematode infections
Open this folder and view contentsLoiasis
Open this folder and view contentsLymphatic filariasis
Open this folder and view contentsOnchocerciasis
Open this folder and view contentsSchistosomiasis
Open this folder and view contentsIntestinal, liver and lung flukes
View the documentSelected WHO publications of related interest
View the documentBack cover


Group: anthelminthic agent
Tablet 150 mg, 600 mg

General information

Praziquantel, which is structurally unrelated to other Anthelmintics, kills both adult worms and larvae. Adult cestodes (tapeworms) rapidly contract and disintegrate in the intestine. Most of the larvae are killed even when encrusted and disintegrate completely within 5 months.

Praziquantel is well absorbed when taken orally; it undergoes first-pass metabolism and 80 % of the dose is excreted mainly as metabolites in the urine within 24 hours.

Clinical information


Treatment of infections due to Taenia saginata, T. solium, Hymenolepis nana and Diphyllobothrium latum.

Dosage and administration

All doses are suitable for adults and children over 4 years.

Intestinal taeniasis

A single dose of 5-10 mg/kg.


A single dose of 15-25 mg/kg.


A single dose of 10-25 mg/kg.


A total of 50 mg/kg daily in three divided doses for 14 days. A corticosteroid such as prednisolone should be administered for 2-3 days beforehand and then throughout the period of treatment.

Dermal cysticercosis

A total of 60 mg/kg daily in three divided doses for 6 days.

Contraindications and precautions

Because of the risk of pericystic oedema, patients with neurocysticercosis should always be treated in hospital. Praziquantel should not be used in the treatment of ocular cysticercosis because of the danger of inflammatory reactions.

Use in pregnancy

Praziquantel has not been shown to be mutagenic, teratogenic or embryotoxic. Because of the risk of cysticercosis, treatment of T. solium infections should never be deferred.

Adverse effects

In the dosages recommended for intestinal tapeworms, praziquantel is exceptionally well tolerated. However, it occasionally causes abdominal discomfort, nausea, headache, dizziness and drowsiness. Rarely, it is reported to have induced pyrexia, urticaria and rectal bleeding.

In cysticercosis, death of the cysts results in local inflammation and oedema. Within the brain, this oedema can simulate an acute space-occupying lesion.


Tablets should be kept in well-closed containers, protected from light.

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