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Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 1987;33(3):287-92.

Penetration of praziquantel into cerebrospinal fluid and cysticerci in human cysticercosis.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, University Hospital, Leiden, The Netherlands.


Two patients with cysticercosis received praziquantel (PZQ) 75 mg/kg/day orally together with 30 mg prednisone daily for 3 weeks. The first patient presented with grand-mal seizures, a pyramidal tract syndrome and subcutaneous cysticerci, and the other had internal hydrocephalus necessitating drainage. Serial plasma samples were taken after the first dose of PZQ. Lumbar CSF was obtained from the first patient and ventricular CSF from the second. Subcutaneous cysticerci were removed from the first patient. PZQ in the specimens was assayed by GLC. For distribution between plasma and CSF a rate constant of 4.9 h-1 for free PZQ, corresponding to a t1/2 of 8 min or less for the non-protein bound fraction was calculated for Patient 1. In the second patient the distribution was so rapid that the rate constant could not be calculated. The difference in distribution rate might have been due to use of different sampling times or to a time lag in the entry of PZQ between the ventricles and the lumbar sac. The rate constant for distribution of the drug between plasma and parasites was 1.4 h-1, corresponding to a t1/2 of 30 min or less. Thus PZQ penetrates rapidly into the CSF. It enters the parasite more slowly, although still more rapidly than the plasma half-life of PZQ (1-1 1/2 h).

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