This medication 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.
OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
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.
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.
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.
In the US -
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.
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. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
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.
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), among others.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., examination of urine/stool, biopsy of infected tissue) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. If you have a heart condition, you may need additional monitoring. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store below 86 degrees F (30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised March 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.
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