Generic Drug Name: Praziquantel
Other Common Names: Droncit, Drontal, Drontal Plus, Quest Plus, Equimax, Zimecterin Gold
Praziquantel's primary use is against cestodes, or tapeworms. Infection with these parasites can cause a variety of symptoms and is associated with potentially serious complications, including digestive blockages, organ function disruption, and brain and central nervous system disruption.
Praziquantel works by damaging the sucker of the parasite, causing it to dislodge from the intestinal tract and become easily removable by the animal's immune system. Praziquantel is also effective against some other types of parasites, such as flukes. The drug is used in dogs and cats and is often included in combination medications designed to treat a variety of parasites and heartworms.
Praziquantel may cause side effects in some animals. About 10% of cats experience salivation, nausea, or weakness after an injection of this medication. These side effects are generally minor and pass quickly.
The injectable form of this medication may cause moderate stinging, and it is not uncommon for animals to scratch at the injection site or cry for a moment following an injection of praziquantel. Oral praziquantel has a bitter taste and may cause nausea in some animals.
Praziquantel is not for use in animals under 4 weeks of age. This drug may interact with certain other drugs or supplements. It is important to disclose all medications currently being used before beginning treatment with praziquantel.
Praziquantel should not be used in animals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to the drug. Any known or suspected overdose should be reported to a veterinarian right away.
Praziquantel should be stored at room temperature, away from light and extreme temperatures. This drug should be kept in its original packaging and out of the reach of animals and children.
Praziquantel is available in tablet form for cats and dogs, as an injectable, and in combination with other medications for use in dogs.
In dogs, the typical dose of praziquantel injectable is 0.2 ml of the 56.8 mg/ml product per 5 lbs as a single dose. The maximum injectable dose is 3 ml, and tablets are administered at 2.5 mg/lb (5 mg/kg) in a single dose. In cats, the maximum injectable dose is 0.6 ml. Tablets are dosed at 2.5 mg/lb (5 mg/kg) in a single dose.
Doses may vary in different species, when the drug is given by a different route or concurrently with other medications, and with regards to a patient's age, breed, and health status. A veterinarian's dosing instructions and/or those printed on the medication label should be followed closely.
If a dose of praziquantel is missed, it should be given right away. If it is almost time for the next dose, the missed dose should be skipped and the normal schedule resumed. In most cases, this will not be necessary, as praziquantel is typically administered in a single dose. Two doses of this medication should not be given at once.