Praziquantel and epsiprantel are closely related analogs that have high efficacy against cestode parasites at relatively low dose rates but no effect on nematodes. Praziquantel is rapidly and almost completely absorbed from the GI tract. After absorption, the drug is distributed to all organs; it is believed to re-enter the intestinal lumen via the mucosa and bile of dogs. Praziquantel is rapidly hydroxylated into inactive forms in the liver and secreted in bile. It has a wide safety margin.
Praziquantel PO is highly effective against cestodes of ruminants (eg, Moniezia spp, Stilesia), horses (Anoplocephala perfoliata), dogs, cats, and poultry. The PO (5 mg/kg), SC (5.8 mg/kg), or spot-on (cats, 12 mg/kg) administration of praziquantel in dogs and cats is 100% effective against Dipylidium caninum, Taenia spp, and Echinococcus spp (both adult and immature forms). Praziquantel at a dosage of 40 mg/kg is also effective against Schistosoma infections in cattle (and humans).
Epsiprantel at 5 mg/kg is used specifically for the treatment of the common tapeworms of dogs and cats, including adult E granulosus.
Last full review/revision March 2012 by Edwin Claerebout, DVM, PhD, DEVPC; Jozef Vercruysse, DVM, DEVPC