Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2002 Nov;72(5):505-13.

Rifampin markedly decreases plasma concentrations of praziquantel in healthy volunteers.

Author information

Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory, Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Science, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Thailand.



Praziquantel is extensively metabolized by the hepatic cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes. The CYP3A isoforms are likely to be major enzymes responsible for praziquantel metabolism. Rifampin (INN, rifampicin), a potent enzyme inducer of CYP-mediated metabolism (especially CYP2C9, CYP2C19, and CYP3A4), is known to markedly decrease plasma concentrations and effects of a number coadministered drugs. The aim of this investigation was to study the possible pharmacokinetic interaction between rifampin and praziquantel.


An open, randomized, 2-phase crossover design was used in each study of single or multiple doses. In the single-dose study, 10 healthy Thai male volunteers ingested single doses of 40 mg/kg praziquantel alone (phase 1) or after pretreatment with 600 mg of oral rifampin once daily for 5 days (phase 2). In the multiple-dose study, all participants received multiple doses of 25 mg/kg praziquantel alone (phase 1) or after 5-day pretreatment with 600 mg of oral rifampin once daily (phase 2). Plasma concentrations of praziquantel in each phase were determined by the HPLC method.


In the single-dose study, rifampin decreased plasma praziquantel concentrations to undetectable levels in 7 of 10 subjects, whereas praziquantel concentrations were reduced by rifampin to undetectable levels in 5 of 10 subjects in the multiple-dose study. In 3 subjects with measurable concentrations in the single-dose study, rifampin significantly decreased the mean maximum plasma concentration (C(max)) and area under the plasma concentration-time curve from 0 to 24 hours [AUC(0-24)] of praziquantel by 81% (P <.05) and 85% (P <.01), respectively, whereas rifampin significantly decreased the mean C(max) and AUC(0-24) of praziquantel by 74% (P <.05) and 80% (P <.01), respectively, in 5 subjects with measurable concentrations in the multiple-dose study. The mean C(max) and AUC(0-24) of praziquantel in subjects whose praziquantel concentrations could not be detected in the single-dose study (7 subjects) after rifampin pretreatment were reduced by approximately 99% (P <.001) and 94% (P <.001), respectively, and in the multiple-dose study (5 subjects), they were reduced by 98% (P <.05) and 89% (P <.01), respectively.


Rifampin greatly decreased plasma concentrations of single and multiple oral doses of praziquantel to levels lower than that of the minimum therapeutic concentration. Because praziquantel and rifampin are widely used in the treatment of liver flukes (Opisthorchis viverrini) and Mycobacterium tuberculosis, respectively, in Thailand and in some other countries in southeast Asia, the possibility of one drug influencing the pharmacokinetics of the other must be considered. Therefore simultaneous use of rifampin and praziquantel must be avoided in medical practice to optimize the therapeutic efficacy of praziquantel.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center