Pet Education
Pet Education Pet Education Pet Education

Learn about Vetco
Dog Food Cat Food New Brands - Healthy Choices Just Added! Free Shipping on orders over $49
Epsiprantel (Cestex)
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith
Wormers & Anti-parasitics
Print Article | Email Article
Bookmark and Share
Click here for a pdf version of this article. 

Epsiprantel is an oral medication used to treat tapeworm infections in dogs and cats. Rarely see side effects. Epsiprantel may be combined with other wormers which kill roundworms, hookworms, etc. In addition to treatment, elimination of parasites must also include sanitation and prevention measures to ensure the pet does not become reinfected.

Generic Name

Brand Name

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.

General Information
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.

Side Effects
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.

Special Note

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.

Keep this and all other medications out of the reach of children and pets.

If you think your pet has been poisoned...

Contact your veterinarian or one of the Animal Poison Hotlines (listed below) if you think your pet may have accidentally received or been given an overdose of the medication.

**ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center

1-888-4ANI-HELP (1-888-426-4435). $65.00 per case, billed to caller's credit card.

Follow-up calls can be made for no additional charge by dialing 888-299-2973.

There is no charge when the call involves a product covered by the Animal Product Safety Service.

**Pet Poison Helpline - 24-hour service available throughout North America for pet owners and veterinary professionals who require assistance with treating a potentially poisoned pet.

1-800-213-6680 ($35.00 per incident). Staffed 24-hours a day.

Click here for a pdf version of this article. 
Print Article | Email Article

Facebook YouTube Blog Connect with us

Subscribe to email newsletters:
featuring helpful articles, tips and online only product specials from Drs. Foster & Smith. Learn more here !

About Us Article Reprints Awards & Memberships Request a FREE Catalog Tell a Friend
Meet Our Staff Terms & Use Site Map Free Newsletters Links to Us
Visit our other websites: Doctors Foster and Smith Pet Supplies - Quality Aquatic Life Direct to Your Door
For product information, call 1-800-826-7206

Copyright © 1997-2015, Petco Wellness, LLC. All rights reserved.
2253 Air Park Road, P.O. Box 100, Rhinelander, Wisconsin, 54501.
Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Your CA Privacy Rights | Copyright Claims | Pet Medical Records Policy