Diphyllobothriasis Medication

Updated: Jun 10, 2021
  • Author: Shireen R Chacko, MBBS; Chief Editor: Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD  more...
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Medication Summary

The goals of pharmacotherapy are to eradicate the infection, to reduce morbidity, and to prevent complications.



Class Summary

Antimicrobial agents are used to eradicate the infecting organism (most often, D latum). Praziquantel is the drug of choice; niclosamide is an alternative.

Praziquantel (Biltricide)

Praziquantel is used in the treatment of several different infestations and is the drug of choice for diphyllobothriasis. It increases cell membrane permeability in susceptible worms, resulting in loss of intracellular calcium, massive contractions, and paralysis of musculature. Tablets should be swallowed with liquid during meals; keeping the tablets in the mouth may result in a bitter taste that can induce nausea or vomiting. It is effective as a single dose of 25 mg/kg. While a lower dose of 10 mg/kg has been reported to be effective against D. pacificum, 25 mg/kg is the typical dose administered for D. latum and D. nihonkaiense.

Niclosamide (Niclocide)

Alternative treatment for diphyllobothrium infections. This drug has limited availability is some countries. It acts by inhibition of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation and glucose uptake in the parasite. It is effective as a single oral dose of 2 g in adults and side effects rare.