Niclosamide - Uses - Dosages - Side Effects - Precautions

Niclosamide: Frequently Asked Questions Answered

What is Niclosamide?

Niclosamide is a treatment for tapeworm infestation and belongs to a family of medications called anthelmintics. This class of medicines is used to treat worm infections. Niclosamide is sold under the name Niclocide in the market. It is one of the medicines available only with the prescription of the doctor. The administration of this medicine is oral.

The diseases this drug targets are diphyllobothriasis, hymenolepiasis, and taeniasis, amongst others. However, worms like pinworms and roundworms are not affected.

What are the uses of Niclosamide?

Since Niclosamide is an anthelmintic, it kills parasitic worms like broad fish tapeworm, dwarf tapeworm, and beef tapeworm and treats worm infections. The mechanism of this medication kills the worm when it comes in contact with them. Typically, worms reside in the intestine, and that is where Niclosamide destroys them. The worms killed are passed in the stool but are not noticeable.

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What are the side effects of Niclosamide?

The common side effects of the drug Niclosamide are:

  • Decreased appetite.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Stomach cramps.

The rare side effects of the drug Niclosamide include:

  • Itching of the anus.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Dizziness.
  • Taste impairment.
  • Skin rash.

These have a less severe expression if experienced during the treatment.

If any of these side effects appear in maximum impact, then praziquantel is a preferable and equally effective treatment for tapeworm infestation.


Frequently Asked Questions about Niclosamide

1. Is Niclosamide a schedule H drug?

Schedule H drugs are a class of prescription drugs that appear as an appendix to the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules. One can not purchase these drugs over the counter without a prescription. One of the drugs that fall into this category is Niclosamide, a Schedule H drug in India.

2. Can you buy Niclosamide over the counter?

Niclosamide cannot be purchased over the counter, and it is necessary to have a prescription from a doctor or registered medical practitioner to buy it. Such drugs come under the Schedule H drug category in the appendix to the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules.

3. Is Niclosamide the same as Mebendazole?

No, Niclosamide is not the same as Mebendazole. Mebendazole is a medicine used to treat infections caused by pinworm, whipworm, roundworm, and hookworm. In contrast, Niclosamide is used to treat infections caused by fish, dwarf, and beef tapeworm. While both are anthelmintics, they target different types of worms.

4. What is the mechanism of action of Niclosamide?

After consuming Niclosamide, the adult worms are killed rapidly due to a reduction in the ability of the inner mitochondrial membrane to inhibit oxidative phosphorylation. The reduction happens due to the uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation. The killed worms are then passed in the stool or sometimes destroyed in the intestine.

5. How do you take Niclosamide?

Niclosamide is taken orally and can be taken on an empty stomach or after a light meal. It should be crushed and taken with a bit of water. The dose of the medication depends on different patients and the type of tapeworm infection. Usually, 2g is consumed as a single dose by adults.

6. How effective is Niclosamide?

Niclosamide shows good efficacy as a single dose of 2g for adults, adjusted for children, and has little systemic absorption. The reactions consist of mild gastrointestinal disturbances. The safety profile of this drug has been tested and has been concluded safe for human consumption.

7. Does Niclosamide cause constipation?

Niclosamide can cause various side effects, some of which are common, and some are rare. Constipation is one of the common side effects that Niclosamide can cause. Along with this, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and itchiness can also be experienced. Praziquantel is preferable to avoid such side effects.

8. Can Niclosamide cause liver damage?

Niclosamide does not cause liver damage. In fact, according to a study performed in 2014, the effect of niclosamide ethanolamine salt on liver damage is described. The salt form of Niclosamide could reduce liver fat accumulation, called steatosis, in mice fed a high-fat diet.

9. Is Niclosamide a steroid?

Niclosamide is not reported to be a steroid. It is an oral anthelmintic drug used against tapeworm infections. It acts as an antagonist in the body to fight the tapeworms, and its mechanism of action is the uncoupling of the electron transport chain to ATP synthase. The action leads to the prevention of ATP synthesis, and the worm is killed.

If you are experiencing any side effects of tapeworm infestations or Niclosamide, consult our expert and get a medical opinion.

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Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.