Oxamniquine

Generic Name: Oxamniquine

Oxamniquine is an "antihelmintic," or anti-worm, medication. It prevents worms from growing or multiplying in your body.

Oxamniquine is used only to treat infections caused by the worm Schistosoma mansoni. This is an uncommon infection usually acquired through contact with freshwater in Africa.

Oxamniquine is not commercially available in the United States.

Oxamniquine may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.


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It is an anthelmintic with schistosomicidal activity against Schistosoma mansoni, but not against other Schistosoma spp. Oxamniquine is a potent single-dose agent for treatment of S. mansoni infection, and it causes worms to shift from the mesenteric veins to the liver, where the male worms are retained; the female worms return to the mesentery, but can no longer release eggs.

Oxamniquine is a semisynthetic tetrahydroquinoline and possibly acts by DNA binding, resulting in contraction and paralysis of the worms and eventual detachment from terminal venules in the mesentry, and death. Its biochemical mechanisms are hypothesized to be related to an anticholinergic effect, which increases the parasite’s motility, as well as to synthesis inhibition of nucleic acids. Oxamniquine acts mainly on male worms, but also induces small changes on a small proportion of females. Like praziquantel, it promotes more severe damage of the dorsal tegument than of the ventral surface. The drug causes the male worms to shift from the mesenteric circulation to the liver, where the cellular host response causes its final elimination. The changes caused in the females are reversible and are due primarily to the discontinued male stimulation rather than the direct effect of oxamniquine.

Oxamniquine is used for treatment of schistosomiasis. According to one systematic review, praziquantel is the standard treatment for S. mansoni infections and oxamniquine also appears effective.

Stop taking oxamniquine and seek emergency medical attention if you experience an allergic reaction (swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; shortness of breath; closing of your throat; or hives).

Rarely, seizures have occurred, most often in patients who already have epilepsy or another seizure disorder. Seek medical attention in the case of a seizure.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take oxamniquine and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • a headache, dizziness, or drowsiness; or
  • abdominal pain, decreased appetite, or vomiting.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

Take oxamniquine exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The Oxamniquine dose your doctor recommends will be based on the following (use any or all that apply):

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication
  • your weight
  • your height
  • your age
  • your gender

Oxamniquine is available in the following doses:

  • Oxamniquine 250 Mg Oral Capsule

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Oxamniquine falls into category C:

In animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication and had some babies born with problems. No well-controlled studies have been done in humans, though. Therefore, this medication may be used if the potential benefits to the mother outweigh the potential risks to the unborn child.

There are no well-controlled studies that have been done in pregnant women. Oxamniquine should be used during pregnancy only if the possible benefit outweighs the possible risk to the unborn baby.

No studies have been done in animals, and no well-controlled studies have been done in pregnant women. Oxamniquine should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Oxamniquine may cause dizziness. If you experience dizziness, avoid these activities.

The drug should be used with caution in /patients with a history of seizure disorders/ and they should remain under medical supervision with adequate facilities readily available for the management of seizures should they occur during oxamniquine therapy.

Patients should be warned that /oxamniquine/ may produce an orange to red color in their urine.

Since the incidence of some adverse effects (eg, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea) may be increased during fasting conditions, patients should be advised to take oxamniquine with food.

Oxamniquine should be used during pregnancy only when the potential benefits justify the possible risks to the fetus. ... Since it is not known whether oxamniquine is distributed into milk, the drug should be used with caution in nursing women.

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