IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
PRAZIQUANTEL - ORAL
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Biltricide
USES: 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. This drug may also be used to treat infections of other parasites (e.g., tapeworms, intestinal and lung flukes).
HOW TO USE: 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.
SIDE EFFECTS: 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. Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: bloody diarrhea, fever, irregular/slow heartbeat, seizures. 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. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
PRECAUTIONS: 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. This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: parasitic eye infection (ocular cysticercosis). 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.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first. This drug should not be used with the following medication because a very serious interaction may occur: rifampin. If you are currently using the medication listed above, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting praziquantel. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: chloroquine, drugs affecting liver enzymes that remove praziquantel from your body (e.g., cimetidine, dexamethasone, azole antifungals such as ketoconazole/itraconazole, macrolide antibiotics such as erythromycin, anti-seizure medicines such as carbamazepine/phenytoin/phenobarbital). This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call the US National Poison Hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
NOTES: 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.
MISSED DOSE: 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.
STORAGE: 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 May 2010. Copyright(c) 2010 First Databank, Inc.