How To Treat Worms In Humans

Everyday Illnesses Common Remedies
Treatments For Worms In Adults And Children

Various types of parasitic worms can infect humans. While some only affect people in developing countries, others like pinworm (threadworm) and roundworm commonly affect people in western countries. Tropical worm infestations such as tapeworms, fluke and flatworms are sometimes acquired by westerners who travel to tropical countries. Most experience no symptoms until some months later. If you become ill after visiting the tropics, contact a doctor familiar with tropical diseases.

How Are Pinworm And Roundworm Treated?

Both types of infestation can be treated quickly by anthelmintic medications. These include:

Non-Prescription Treatments

Vermox tablets contain an active ingredient called mebendazole. The treatment is one single tablet, a second tablet is recommended 2 weeks later if the infection comes back. Vermox is most commonly used to treat pinworm but it can also be used to treat roundworm, hookworm and whipworm infections. Mebendazole works by preventing worms from absorbing sugars which are essential for their survival. Within a few days the worms die and are excreted from your intestines in your stools.

Pin-X (pyrantel) is used to treat pinworm, hookworm and roundworm infections. The dose is one chewable tablet. The medication works by paralyzing the worms so they pass out in your stools.

Reese's Pinworm Medication
This medication comes in liquid form. The dose depends on your age and body weight. It ranges from a single dose of 1/2 teaspoonful to 4 teaspoonfuls. This is also a pyrantel based medicine.

Prescription Only

Albenza (albendazole) is another treatment for pinworm, but it is only available on prescription. It is taken as a single tablet and a second dose taken 2 weeks later lessens the chance of a reinfection. As well as treating pinworm, hookworm, whipworm and roundworm it also treats tapeworms. Like mebendazole, albendazole works by stopping worms absorbing sugar so they starve and die.

How Quickly Will Medications Work?

Worm medications are fast-acting. You should see an improvement in symptoms (less itching around the anal area) within 24 hours and a complete recovery within 2 or 3 days.

Additional Advice

1. As worms are highly contagious, everyone in the household should be treated at the same time.
2. In severe cases a doctor may recommend a tap water enema to help flush out worms.
3. Garlic may be an effective treatment for worm infestations. It should be eaten or peeled and inserted into the rectum at night before going to sleep.

After Treatment: To reduce the risk of reinfection:

1. Always wash your hands after going to the toilet and before and after eating.
2. Wash all your bed clothes and towels every 3 to 7 days for 3 weeks to kill any lingering eggs.
3. Wash pajamas and underwear daily for 2 weeks.
4. Eat lots of spicy and bitter foods for 2 weeks to prevent reinfection. This includes chilies, curries containing turmeric and cayenne pepper, garlic, ginger, olives and figs.
5. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day to help lubricate stool movements.

Treatments For Other Common Infections:

How to treat thrush: Home remedies to treat thrush.
How to treat warts: Medical and home remedies.
How to treat cystitis: Urinary tract infection.
How to treat sinus infections: Instant relief from sinus pain.
How to treat verrucas: Warts on the sole of the feet.
How to treat athlete's foot: Fast acting treatments.
How to treat earaches: Caused by infections and the common cold.
How to treat cold sores: Rapid relieve for your cold sore.

• Other health issues? See: How to treat common illnesses.

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