Taenia Infection Medication

Updated: Jul 24, 2018
  • Author: Supatida Tengsupakul, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Class Summary

Treatment of both tapeworm infections is similar; praziquantel is considered the drug of choice. Niclosamide can also be used. Both are administered as single-dose therapy. A new drug, tribendimidine, is being studied in China. With T solium infection, start treatment immediately because of the possibility of cysticercosis via autoinfection.

Praziquantel (Biltricide)

Praziquantel is the DOC for Taenia infection. It increases cell membrane permeability in susceptible worms, resulting in loss of intracellular calcium, massive contractions, and paralysis of musculature.

Niclosamide (Niclocide)

Niclosamide acts by causing necrosis of the head and adjoining segments of the tapeworm. The worm loses hold and is eliminated in pieces or intact with feces. It is available as a 500-mg tablet. It should be chewed to fine pulp before swallowing with a little water or crushed in liquid and then swallowed.

Albendazole (Albenza)

Albendazole decreases ATP production in the worm, causing energy depletion, immobilization, and, finally, death. To avoid inflammatory an response in the CNS, the patient must also be started on anticonvulsants and high-dose glucocorticosteroids.



Class Summary

These agents are useful in cases of primary increased intracranial pressure or cases resulting from anthelmintic-induced cyst death and resultant inflammation.

Dexamethasone (Decadron)

Dexamethasone is an adrenocortical steroid. It decreases inflammation by suppressing the migration of PMNs and reducing capillary permeability.