What is Praziquantel?


Schering's Biltricide







Chemistry of Praziquantel









The chemical make-up of praziquantel is 2-(cyclohexylcarbonyl)-1,2,3,6,7, 11b-hexahydro-4H-pyrazino [2, 1-a] isoquinolin-4-one with the molecular formula; C 19 H 24 N 2 O 2 (1).

Although the exact mechanism of praziquantel is unknown, it is believed to cause rapid contraction of parasites by increasing the permeability of the parasites' cell membranes. Praziquantel is rapidly taken up, with an absorption rate of 80% (1).


Praziquantel is highly desirable for mass treatment programs for a number of reasons:
Low Toxicity:
Praziquantel is well tolerated by most individuals, with the most common side effects being nausea and vomiting.
Ease of storage and transport:
Praziquantel is distributed in pill form, and does not require refrigeration-- the only requirement is that it remain stored at a temperature below 86 degree Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius).   The ease of shipping and administering the medicine makes it ideal for large de-worming initiatives (1).
Low Cost:
The cost of Praziquantel has fallen drastically since the 1980s, with the current cost of a 600 mg tablet at a mere US $0.072 (2).
Simple Treatment:
Most Praziquantel treatments can be completed in one dose, or over the course of a single day.   This makes it extremely desirable for mass treatment programs (1).

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