From Dog

Diethylcarbamazine citrate (DEC) (N, N-diethyl-4-methyl-1-piperazine carboxamide dihydrogen citrate) is a synthetic derivative of piperazine, an older class of anthelmintic drug, effective against control of a number of endoparasites.

It is used extensively in poorer countries to combat human onchocerciasis, and until the relatively recent introduction of ivermectin-based drugs, was the principal preventative drug used for control and prevention of cardiopulmonary filariids of dogs.

Specifically synthesized against filarial nematodes, DEC is effective against:

Side-effects may be lethal in heartworm disease patients where microfilaremia is present, resulting in an anaphylactic reaction initiated by intrahepatic venoconstriction[2][3], the severity of the vascular reaction usually directly related to the number of microfilariae in the liver[4].


  1. Finsterer J & Auer H (2007) Neurotoxocarosis. Rev Inst Med Trop Sao Paulo 49(5):279-287
  2. Boreham PF et al (1985) Studies on the mechanism of the DEC reaction in dogs infected with Dirofilaria immitis. Int J Parasitol 15(5):543-549
  3. Hamilton RG et al (1986) Dirofilaria immitis: diethylcarbamazine-induced anaphylactoid reactions in infected dogs. Exp Parasitol 61(3):405-420
  4. Sutton RH et al (1985) Liver changes, following diethylcarbamazine administration, in microfilaremic dogs infected with Dirofilaria immitis. Vet Pathol 22(2):177-183