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In general BILTRICIDE (praziquantel) is very well tolerated. Side effects are usually mild and transient and do not require treatment. The following side effects were observed generally in order of severity: malaise, headache, dizziness, abdominal discomfort with or without nausea, rise in temperature and, rarely, urticaria. Such symptoms can, however, also result from the infection itself. Such side effects may be more frequent and/or serious in patients with a heavy worm burden.
Post Marketing Adverse Event Reports
Additional adverse events reported from worldwide post marketing experience and from publications with praziquantel include: abdominal pain, allergic reaction (generalized hypersensitivity) including polyserositis, anorexia, arrhythmia (including bradycardia, ectopic rhythms, ventricular fibrillation, AV blocks), asthenia, bloody diarrhea, convulsion, eosinophilia, myalgia, pruritis, somnolence, vertigo and vomiting.
Read the Biltricide (praziquantel) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects »
Concomitant administration of rifampin, a strong P450 inducer, with praziquantel is contraindicated and must be avoided (see CONTRAINDICATIONS). In a crossover study with a 2-week washout period, 10 healthy subjects ingested a single 40 mg/kg dose of praziquantel following pre-treatment with oral rifampin (600 mg daily for 5 days). Plasma praziquantel concentrations were undetectable in 7 out of 10 subjects. When a single 40 mg/kg dose of praziquantel was administered to these healthy subjects two weeks after discontinuation of rifampin, the mean praziquantel AUC and Cmax were 23% and 35% lower, respectively, than when praziquantel was given alone. In patients receiving rifampin, for example, as part of a combination regimen for the treatment of tuberculosis, alternative agents for schistosomiasis should be considered. However, if treatment with praziquantel is necessary, treatment with rifampin should be discontinued 4 weeks before administration of praziquantel. Treatment with rifampin can then be restarted one day after completion of praziquantel treatment.
Concomitant administration of other drugs that increase the activity of drug metabolizing liver enzymes (P450 inducers), for example, antiepileptic drugs (phenytoin, phenobarbital and carbamazepine), and dexamethasone, may also reduce plasma levels of praziquantel. Concomitant administration of drugs that decrease the activity of drug metabolizing liver enzymes (P 450 inhibitors), for example, cimetidine, ketoconazole, itraconazole, erythromycin may increase plasma levels of praziquantel.
Chloroquine, when taken simultaneously, may lead to lower concentrations of praziquantel in blood. The mechanism of this drug-drug interaction is unclear.
Grapefruit juice was reported to produce a 1.6-fold increase in the Cmax and a 1.9-fold increase in the AUC of praziquantel. However, the effect of this exposure increase on the therapeutic effect and safety of praziquantel has not been systematically evaluated.
Last reviewed on RxList: 9/13/2010
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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