1 What is Diethylcarbamazine?

Brand: Diethylcarbamazine

Generic: Diethylcarbamazine

Diethylcarbamazine is used in the treatment of certain worm injections. This medication works by killing the worms. It is used to treat:

  • Bancroft’s filariasis
  • Eosinophilic lung (tropical pulmonary eosinophilia; triopical eosinophilia)
  • Loiasis
  • River blindness (onchocerciasis)

This medication will not work for other kinds of worm infections (i.e. pinworms, tapeworms). Diethylcarbamazine is available only with your doctor’s prescription and only from the manufacturer.

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Tablet

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Diethylcarbamazine, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. This is a decision that you and your doctor will make together.

For this medication, there are many things that need to be considered:

Allergies: Inform your doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to any other medications. It is also important to inform your doctor of any non-medicine allergies such as foods, dyes, preservatives or animals.

Pediatric: No appropriate studies have been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of this medication in children. However, this medication is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in children than it does in adults.

Geriatric: No appropriate studies have been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of this medication in children. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Drug Interactions: Certain medications should not be used together. However, in certain cases, two medications may be used together, even if an interaction might occur.

In these cases, your doctor may want to change your dose or take other precautions. When taking this medication, it is important that you inform your doctor if you are taking any prescription or over-the-counter medications.

Other Interactions: Certain medications should not be used while eating, or while eating certain foods in case of negative interactions. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medications may also cause negative interactions. Talk with your doctor about the use of your medication with food, alcohol or tobacco.

3 Proper Usage

To use Diethylcarbamazine properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor. This medication should be taken immediately after meals.

To help completely clear your infection, keep taking this medication for the full length of treatment, even if your symptoms begin to clear up after a few days. The second course of medication may be required to clear up the infection completely in some patients.

For Bancroft’s filariasis, loiasis and river blindness:

  • Adults - Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The normal dose is 2-3mg per kilogram of body weight 3 times per day.
  • Children - Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

For eosinophilic lung:

  • Adults - Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The normal dose is 6mg per kilogram of body weight per day. This is taken for 4-7 days.
  • Children - Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed dose: If you miss a dose of this medication, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your normal dosing schedule. Do not double dose.

Storage: Store this medication in a closed container at room temperature. Keep it away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not freeze.

Keep our of the reach of children. Do not keep expired medication or medication you no longer need. Ask your doctor how to dispose of any medication you do not use.

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Diethylcarbamazine, there are some precautions you must take. If your symptoms do not improve within a few days, or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

For patients taking this medication for river blindness:

It is important that your doctor checks your progress at regular visits. Your doctor may want your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist.

This medication may cause loss of vision, night blindness or tunnel vision with prolonged use. This medication may also cause some people to become dizzy. Make sure you know how you react to this medication before you drive, use machinery or do anything else that may be dangerous if you are dizzy or not alert.

Doctors may also prescribe a corticosteroid for certain patients with river blindness, especially those with severe symptoms. This is to help reduce the inflammation caused by the death of the worms.

If your doctor prescribes these medications together, it is important to take them both and exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not miss any doses.

5 Potential Side Effects

A medication may produce unwanted effects along with the intended 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 you experience any of the following side-effects:

More common:

  • Itching and swelling of the face, especially the eyes

Less common:

  • Fever
  • Painful and tender glands in the neck, armpits or groin
  • Skin rash

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

  • Loss of vision
  • Night blindness
  • Tunnel vision

Some side effects that may occur do not normally need medical attention. These may leave as your body becomes accustomed to treatment. Ask your doctor about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Talk to your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome, or if you have questions:

More common:

Less common:

Some patients may experience other side effects that are not listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any other side effects. Ask your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.