Type of Drug
Form and Storage
Store at room temperature in a closed container.
Indications for Use
Treatment of tapeworms (2 types) in dogs and cats.
FDA approved for use in dogs and cats. Available by prescription. Epsiprantel is often the drug of choice for treating tapeworms in dogs and cats. The drug paralyzes the tapeworm causing it to lose its attachment to the host's (pet's) intestine and also causing the tapeworm to become susceptible to digestion by the host. Due to the digestion by the host, no sign of the parasite is seen in the stool after treatment. The tapeworm is the parasite that looks like rice on the stool or the hair around the rectum of the infected individual.
Usual Dose and Administration
Dog 2.5 mg/pound by mouth once. Cats 1.25 mg/pound by mouth once. Do not need to withhold food before treating. The treatment may need to be repeated if the pet eats an infected intermediate host again. See the list of intermediate hosts in the Contraindications Section below.
Rare. May see vomiting or diarrhea.
Tapeworms have zoonotic potential. They could infect humans. See special note at end of epsiprantel section.
The tapeworm is always acquired by eating an infected intermediate host such as a flea, dog louse, rabbit, rodent, uncooked or undercooked meats (like beef, lamb, pork, and venison), uncooked or undercooked fish, and dead livestock/wildlife.
Eliminate fleas from the pet and the environment and do not feed uncooked meats/fish including dead livestock or wild animals.
Use with caution in pregnant or nursing animals although detrimental effects would be unlikely as the drug is not well absorbed into the body.
Drug and Food Interactions
No known drug interactions. Fasting is not recommended.
Wide margin of safety. May see vomiting at extremely high doses.
Tapeworms have the capability of causing disease in humans when the proglottid (egg carrying segment of the worm) is passed with the animal's feces. An immature form of the tapeworm develops in a intermediate host (e.g., animal, insect, snail), depending on the type of tapeworm. Tapeworm is always acquired by eating an infected intermediate host such as a flea, dog louse, rabbit, rodent, uncooked or undercooked meats (like beef, lamb, pork, and venison), uncooked or undercooked fish, and dead livestock/wildlife.
Prevention of tapeworms in people would include eliminating any fleas on the pet and in the environment, not allowing the pet to consume rodents and other intermediate hosts, practicing good personal hygiene, preventing fecal contamination of food and water, and not eating uncooked or undercooked meat/fish. Please contact your veterinarian or physician for further information.