- Drug Name: Pyrantel Pamoate for Dogs and Cats
- Common Name: Nemex®, Strongid®
- Drug Type: Antihelmintic
- Used For: Eradication of internal parasites
- Species: Dogs, Cats
- Administered: Oral liquid
- How Dispensed: Over the counter
- FDA Approved: Yes, for dogs
What Is Pyrantel Pamoate?
Pyrantel pamoate (also called Strongid, Nemex, and many other brand names) is most commonly used to treat hookworms and roundworms in dogs and cats. Roundworms and hookworms are typically picked up by pets when they ingest contaminated soil or feces or eat an infected prey animal. Puppies and kittens can also become infected with these parasites directly from their mothers. Pyrantel pamoate is not effective against tapeworms, whipworms, or many other types of intestinal parasites.
Your veterinarian may perform a fecal floatation test if they suspect that your pet has intestinal parasites or as part of a routine check-up. This test involves taking a small fecal sample from your dog or cat and putting it in a small container with a solution that will encourage parasite eggs to float. A slide is then made of the floating material and examined under a microscope to identify the type of parasite eggs that are present, which will determine which type of deworming medication is appropriate for your pet.
Pyrantel pamoate is available as a single agent or in combination with other deworming medications. Products such as Drontal contain pyrantel pamoate in conjunction with another drug, praziquantel, so that it can treat roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms. Drontal Plus contains pyrantel pamoate and praziquantel, as well as another medication called febantel, and is effective against roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms.
Pyrantel Pamoate Dosage
Doses for pyrantel vary but between 2.5 mg/lb and 10 mg/lb are fairly typical. Pyrantel is usually given as a single dose that is repeated in two to three weeks to kill any parasites that have matured during that time. Sometimes puppies and kittens will be treated with pyrantel every two to three weeks between the ages of 2 weeks and 12 weeks if their risk of infection is high. Nursing female dogs may be given pyrantel approximately two to three weeks after giving birth to reduce the chances that they will pass worms on to their puppies.
Shake liquid pyrantel well before administering and follow the dosing instructions that are provided on the product label.
What to Do If You Miss a Dose
Give the dose as soon as you remember.
How Does Pyrantel Work?
Pyrantel works by paralyzing hookworms and roundworms so they can be passed out of the body in your pet’s feces and less frequently, by vomiting.
How to Store Pyrantel
Store in a tightly sealed container at room temperature.
Side Effects of Pyrantel
Pyrantel pamoate is poorly absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract and is a very safe way to treat hookworms and roundworms in dogs and cats. Pyrantel rarely results in side effects but vomiting is possible. Pyrantel is safe for use in pregnant and nursing pets.
Possible Pyrantel Drug Interactions