USE OF A TABLET POLE FOR DETERMINING THE
CORRECT DOSE OF PRAZIQUANTEL
Praziquantel (also known as Biltricide) is the drug given to children for treatment of schistosomiasis. The dose of praziquantel for each child depends on their weight –
40mg of praziquantel per kg of body weight. Since weight and height are related, height can be used instead of weight to find out the correct dose of praziquantel for each child.
Height poles (Tablet Poles) have been constructed, made of straight lengths of hardwood, to measure the height of each child. The poles are marked to show the correct number of praziquantel tablets, to the nearest half tablet, that should be given for each child, depending on their height. --178 cm
--160 cm Height pole consisting of five height intervals and the 3 dosage of praziquantel (in tablets) assigned to each --150 cm height interval.
Using the Tablet Pole
1. The pole should be held upright on a flat surface. If necessary, flatten the ground
and then hold the pole on a large flat piece of wood. One way to make sure that
the pole is held upright is to hold it near to a piece of string that has a weight
attached to one end, and the other end tied to a roof beam or tree branch, making a
‘plumb line’. This can be used to judge whether the Tablet Pole is upright.
2. For each child to be treated, ask them to stand so that their spine is against the face
of the pole on which the number of tablets is written. Put the child’s feet together
so that they touch the base of the pole. The child should stand upright, looking
3. Place a ruler on the child’s head and press down the hair so that the ruler is flat
against the skull. Make sure that the ruler is level and makes an angle of 90
degrees with the height pole. Read the number of tablets that the child needs from
the pole. If the ruler exactly touches the line between two doses of tablets (e.g. on
the line between 1? and 2), then give the higher dose of tablets. If children are
taller than the markings on the pole for the highest dose of tablets, they should be
referred to a clinic, for determining the correct dose of praziquantel.