Niclosamide is an anthelmintic agent that is used to treat tapeworm infections in humans and animals. It works by inhibiting the energy metabolism of tapeworms, resulting in their death and removal from the body.
Niclosamide is effective against several types of tapeworms, including Diphyllobothrium latum, Taenia saginata, and Taenia solium. It is typically administered orally in the form of tablets or capsules, although it can also be administered through injection in veterinary settings.
The mechanism of action of niclosamide is not fully understood, but it is believed to work by inhibiting the enzyme cytochrome c oxidase in the mitochondria of tapeworm cells. This enzyme is responsible for the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the primary energy source for cells. By inhibiting the production of ATP, niclosamide disrupts the energy metabolism of the tapeworm and leads to its death.
Niclosamide is generally well-tolerated and has a low incidence of side effects. The most common side effects are gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In rare cases, niclosamide can cause allergic reactions or skin irritation.
It is important to note that niclosamide is not effective against other types of parasites, such as roundworms or flukes. It should only be used to treat tapeworm infections and should not be used as a general-purpose antiparasitic agent.
- McLeod, R. (2008). Anthelmintics. In R. R. Wallace & E. C. Hovingh (Eds.), Saunders Handbook of Veterinary Drugs (3rd ed., pp. 91-92). Philadelphia, PA: Saunders.
- Nickel, R., Schäfer, R., & Schneider, T. (2007). Niclosamide. In K. R. Wallach (Ed.), Merck Veterinary Manual (10th ed., pp. 769-770). Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck.
- Nicolle, L. E., & Bradley, S. (2014). Infectious Diseases of the Female Genital Tract (6th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.