Generic Drug Name: Pyrantel
Other Common Names: Nemex, Strongid
Pyrantel is a dewormer used in dogs, cats, horses, cattle, and other animals to remove roundworms and other parasites. It is most often used to deworm kittens and puppies during the first months of life.
Roundworms attach to an animal's intestine with tiny teeth or suckers. Pyrantel works by paralyzing worms so that they lose their attachment and can be passed with feces from the body. The drug is also effective against hookworms and stomach worms. It does not work against whipworms or tapeworms.
Pyrantel rarely causes vomiting upon administration. Other side effects are very rare and generally mild.
Use of pyrantel may result in some straining, diarrhea, and vomiting as the worms are passed. There is a small risk of worm impaction in animals with a very large number of worms. The risk is greater in smaller animals.
Pyrantel will not remove worms that have not yet settled in the intestine. Follow up deworming is necessary to ensure all worms are eliminated from the body.
Pyrantel is known to interact with certain other drugs and supplements, including morantel, levamisole, piperazine, and organophosphate insecticides.
Pyrantel should not be used in animals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to the drug. Chronic overdose of the drug may cause increased respiratory rate, staggering, profuse sweating, and loss of balance. Any known or suspected overdose should be reported to a veterinarian right away.
Pyrantel should be store at room temperature, in a light-resistant container, and out of the reach of children and animals.
Pyrantel is available as an oral suspension and in 22.7 mg, 62.5 mg, and 113.5 mg tablets. It is also available as an oral paste.
Pyrantel pamoate is typically dosed in cats and dogs at 2.5 to 5 mg/lb (5 to 10 mg/kg) once, with a repeated dose three weeks after the first.
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 pyrantel 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. Two doses of this medication should not be given at once.