Dosing of praziquantel by height in sub-Saharan African adults

Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2014 Apr;90(4):634-7. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.13-0252. Epub 2014 Mar 3.


The cornerstone of schistosomiasis control is mass praziquantel treatment in high prevalence areas. Adults are an important target population, given increasing recognition of the burden of male and female genital schistosomiasis. However, use of weighing scales to calculate praziquantel dosing in rural areas can be challenging. For school-age children, the World Health Organization (WHO) has approved a dose pole to simplify praziquantel dosing based on height. We modified the pediatric dose pole by adding two height categories and incorporating a simple overweight/obesity adjustment, for simplified mass treatment of adults in sub-Saharan Africa. Using the rural Zimbabwean Demographic and Health Survey data, we show that the modified dose pole with body mass index adjustment would result in > 98% of adults receiving an acceptable dose (30-60 mg/kg), with only 1.4% and 0.3% receiving an inadequate dose (< 30 mg/kg) or high dose (> 60 mg/kg), respectively. An adult dose pole may provide a more feasible alternative to weighing scales in community-based praziquantel treatment programs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anthelmintics / administration & dosage*
  • Body Height*
  • Body Weight*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Praziquantel / administration & dosage*
  • Schistosomiasis / drug therapy
  • Schistosomiasis haematobia / drug therapy*
  • World Health Organization
  • Young Adult
  • Zimbabwe


  • Anthelmintics
  • Praziquantel