Free Nutritional Health Information and Tools

Oxamniquine (Systemic)

Home PageTable Of ContentsPrevious PageNext Page

Oxamniquine (Systemic)


Oxamniquine (ox-AM-ni-kwin) is used to treat a certain kind of worm infection (blood fluke), also known as snail fever, Manson's schistosomiasis (shis-toe-soe-MYE-a-siss) , or bilharziasis(bil-har-ZYE-a-siss). It will not work for other kinds of worm infections (for example, pinworms or roundworms).

Oxamniquine is available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage form:


    • Capsules

Special Considerations

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For oxamniquine, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to oxamniquine. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.


Studies have not been done in humans. Studies in animals have shown that oxamniquine may harm the unborn animal when it is given in high doses. However, there have been no reports of problems with the pregnancies or babies of pregnant women who took oxamniquine.


It is not known whether oxamniquine passes into the breast milk. However, this medicine has not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies.


This medicine has been used in children, and, in effective doses, has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems in children than it does in adults.

Older adults

Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of oxamniquine in the elderly with use in other age groups.

Other medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your health care professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other medical problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of oxamniquine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

    • History of epilepsy or other medical problems that cause convulsions-Patients with a history of epilepsy may be more likely to have side effects


No special preparations (for example, special diets, fasting, other medicines, laxatives, or enemas) are necessary before, during, or immediately after taking oxamniquine.

Take this medicine after meals to lessen the chance of side effects such as stomach upset, drowsiness, or dizziness, unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

To help clear up your infection completely, take this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor for the full time of treatment. Do not miss any doses .


The dose of oxamniquine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of oxamniquine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

    • For oral dosage form (capsules):

      o For East, North, or South African snail fever:

        Adults and children-Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 15 milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg) (6.8 mg per pound) of body weight two times a day for one, two, or three days.

      o For West African and Western Hemisphere snail fever:

        Adults and children weighing 30 kg (66 pounds) and over-Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 15 mg per kg (6.8 mg per pound) of body weight as a single dose.

        Children weighing up to 30 kg (66 pounds)-Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 10 mg per kg (4.5 mg per pound) of body weight taken twice a day, two to eight hours apart.

Missed dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.


To store this medicine:

    • Keep out of the reach of children.

    • Store away from heat and direct light.

    • Do not store in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down.

    • Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.


It is important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits.

If your symptoms do not improve after you take this medicine for the full time of treatment, or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This medicine may cause some people to become dizzy, drowsy, or less alert than they are normally. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or are not alert . If these reactions are especially bothersome, check with your doctor.

Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:


Convulsions (seizures); fever; hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there); skin rash or hives.

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

More common

Dizziness; drowsiness; headache.

Less common

Abdominal or stomach pain; diarrhea; loss of appetite; nausea or vomiting.

This medicine may cause the urine to turn reddish orange. This side effect does not require medical attention.

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

June 11, 1999

Top Of PageHome PageTable Of ContentsPrevious PageNext Page