Cestex for Cats

Cestex, also known under the generic name Epsiprantel, is a prescription drug that combats infections with 2 types of tapeworms (Dipylidium caninum and Taenia taeniaeformis) in cats. As it is very safe, in what concerns both the overdose risk and the possible side effects, it has been approved by the FDA for veterinary use.

Pharmaceutical Mechanism of Cestex

The drug is an anthelminthic that works by paralyzing the tapeworm and causing it to detach from the intestine of the cat. Next, the detached tapeworm is digested by the host and eliminated in the stool. As the tapeworm gets digested, there may be no fragments in the stool.

Availability and Administration of Cestex

Epsiprantel is available as film-coated tablets with the following concentrations:

  • 12.5mg
  • 25mg
  • 50mg
  • 100mg

The drug is administered orally as a single one-time dose and the recommended dosage is of 1.25mg per pound of body weight. In case the infection reappears, the treatment must be repeated.

Adverse Reactions to Cestex

Serious side effects have not been noticed, not even in tolerance trials when the pets were administered approximately 11 times the normal dosage. Adverse reactions such as diarrhea, trembling or vomiting may be noticed, but they occur rarely. In the tolerance trials, such side effects were remarked only in one of 5 kittens. Since such high doses did not produce any side effects, the risk of overdose is also very low.

The side effects of Cestex that are related to the stomach may determine the cat to feel uncomfortable and to lose its appetite. In order to minimize the risk of such side effects, it is highly recommended to feed the cat before administering Cestex. If the side effects occur and persist, you need to talk to a veterinarian, so that complications are avoided. However, most of the side-effects disappear once the treatment is ended.   

Cestex Contraindications and Interactions

In pregnant and nursing animals, this drug should be used with caution, even though side effects are not likely because Cestex is not entirely assimilated by the body. Also, there are no known interactions with other drugs. During clinical field studies conducted in 9 states in the USA, Cestex was administered simultaneously with:

  • Anti-inflammatory agents
  • Diethylcarbamazine citrate
  • Insecticides
  • Nematicides

Interactions between the above and Cestex were not noticed in any of the 263 cases that were evaluated in the field studies. However, it is recommended not to administer this drug to kittens younger than 7 weeks.

Additional Measures to Prevent Tapeworm

After finishing the treatment, the cat may get infected again, so sanitation and preventive measures are a must. Infected animals are also able to pass on the infection to humans, as the egg carrying part of the worm is eliminated in the stool. Undeveloped tapeworms are able to grow in intermediate hosts, such as:

  • Dead livestock
  • Dog louses
  • Fleas
  • Rabbits
  • Rodents
  • Uncooked or undercooked meats and fish

To prevent the tapeworm infection in people it is mandatory to eliminate the fleas that the pet may have and the ones present in the environment. Additionally, the cat should not be allowed to eat rodents or other potential intermediate hosts. It is also very important to prevent the contamination of food and water with feces.