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Home / Drugs / Starting with N / Niclosamide

Niclosamide is used for the treatment of most tapeworm infections. Helminths (worms) are multicellular organisms that infect very large numbers of humans and cause a broad range of diseases. Over 1 billion people are infected with intestinal nematodes, and many millions are infected with filarial nematodes, flukes, and tapeworms. They are an even greater problem in domestic animals.
CategoriesAntiparasitic Agents


For the treatment of tapeworm and intestinal fluke infections: Taenia saginata (Beef Tapeworm), Taenia solium (Pork Tapeworm), Diphyllobothrium latum (Fish Tapeworm), Fasciolopsis buski (large intestinal fluke). Niclosamide is also used as a molluscicide in the control of schistosomiasis.


Niclosamide is an antihelminth used against tapeworm infections. It may act by the uncoupling of the electron transport chain to ATP synthase. The disturbance of this crucial metabolic pathway prevents creation of adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP), an essential molecule that supplies energy for metabolism.

mechanism of action

Niclosamide works by killing tapeworms on contact. Adult worms (but not ova) are rapidly killed, presumably due to uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation or stimulation of ATPase activity. The killed worms are then passed in the stool or sometimes destroyed in the intestine. Niclosamide may work as a molluscicide by binding to and damaging DNA.


Infrequent, mild, and transitory adverse events include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort.


Niclosamide appears to be minimally absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract—neither the drug nor its metabolites have been recovered from the blood or urine.