General Practice 2022

Remédios for worms: 10 most used and how to take them

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Remédios for worms: 10 most used and how to take them
Remédios for worms: 10 most used and how to take them
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Treatment with medicines for worms is done in a single dose, but regimens of 3, 5 or more days may also be indicated, which varies according to the type of drug or worm to be fought.

Remedies for worms should always be taken according to the doctor's recommendation and are usually indicated when worms are detected in stool examination or when there is suspicion of infection through symptoms such as excessive hunger, weight loss marked or changes in intestinal transit, for example. Check out the main symptoms of worms.

The most common worm remedies are albendazole, mebendazole, nitazoxanide and secnidazole, which can be found in pharmacies or drugstores without a prescription.However, it is important to consult the doctor for evaluation of symptoms and dose indication according to the type of worm.

The main remedies used and their action for each type of the most common worms are:

1. Albendazole

Albendazole is a widely used drug, as it fights most intestinal parasites, such as Ascariasis, Trichocephaliasis, Enterobiasis (oxyuriasis), Hookworm, Strongyloidiasis, Teniasis and Giardiasis. Its action consists of degenerating the structures of cells and tissues of worms and protozoa, causing the death of these parasites.

How to use: Generally, the dose of albendazole used for adults or children over 2 years of age is 400 mg, in a single dose, for the treatment of Ascaris lumbricoidis. However, in some cases, the doctor may recommend using it for a longer period, such as for 3 days in cases of Strongyloidiasis and Taeniasis, or for 5 days in cases of Giardiasis, for example.

Most common side effects: abdominal pain, headache, vertigo, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hives, and elevated levels of some liver enzymes.

2. Mebendazole

This medicine is used for the treatment of many types of worms, as it destroys the functions of the cells responsible for the energy of the parasites, causing the death of worms that cause diseases such as Enterobiasis (oxyuriasis), Ascariasis, Trichocephaliasis, Echinococcosis, Hookworm and Taeniasis.

How to use: the recommended dose, according to the package insert, is 100 mg, 2 times a day, for 3 days, or as directed by the doctor, for adults and children over 2 years.

Most common side effects: headache, dizziness, hair loss, abdominal discomfort, fever, redness of the skin, changes in blood cells, and elevated blood enzyme levels liver.

3. Nitazoxanide

Also known by the trade name Annita, this medication is one of the most efficient in combating different types of worms and protozoa, as it acts by inhibiting the enzymes of cells essential to the life of parasites, including Enterobiasis (oxyuriasis), Ascariasis, Strongyloidiasis, Hookworm, Trichocephaliasis, Taeniasis and Hymenolepiasis, Amoebiasis, Giardiasis, Crypstosporidiasis, Blastocytosis, Balantidiasis and Isosporiasis.

How to use: its use is usually done with a dose of 500mg, every 12 hours, for 3 days. The dose for children over 1 year old is 0.375 mL (7.5 mg) of oral solution per kg of weight, every 12 hours, for 3 days, as directed by the pediatrician.

Most common side effects: greenish urine, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headache, elevated liver enzyme levels, and anemia.

4. Piperazine

It is a useful dewormer for the treatment of Ascariasis and Enterobiasis (oxyuriasis), and works by blocking the muscular response of the worms, causing paralysis, so they can be eliminated while still alive by the body.

How to use: the recommended dose of this medication is guided by the doctor, and, according to the package insert, to treat Enterobiasis is 65 mg per kg of weight, per day, for 7 days, for adults and children. In the case of Ascariasis, the dose is 3.5 g for 2 days for adults and 75 mg per kg of weight for 2 days for children.

Most common side effects: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, redness, hives, and dizziness.

5. Pyrantel

It is an antiparasitic that also acts by paralyzing the worms, which are expelled alive by the bowel movements, useful to fight infections such as Hookworm, Ascariasis and Enterobiasis (oxyuriasis).

How to use: the dose recommended by the drug leaflet is 10 to 11 mg per kg of weight, with a maximum dose of 1 g, in a single dose, for adults and children, and the treatment can be repeated after 2 weeks to guarantee the treatment of Enterobiasis.

Most common side effects: lack of appetite, cramping and abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness and headache.

6. Ivermectin

Ivermectin is very useful for the treatment of larvae that cause Strongyloidiasis, Onchocerciasis, Filariasis, Scabies and Pediculosis, which are lice, and kills these parasites by altering the structure of their muscle and nerve cells.

How to use: the recommended dose of this medication is 200 mcg per kg of body weight, in a single dose, or as directed by a physician, for adults and children over 15 kg of weight.

Most common side effects: diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, weakness, abdominal pain, lack of appetite, constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, tremor, hives.

7. Thiabendazole

Thiabendazole is also a useful drug in the elimination of larvae, being used to treat Strongyloidiasis, Cutaneous Larva migrans and Visceral Larva migrans (toxocariasis), as it inhibits the enzymes of the worm cells, causing their death.

How to use: the recommended dose may vary according to the medical indication, but the dose is usually 50 mg for each kg of weight (maximum of 3 g), divided into two doses, for adults and children, it may take several days of treatment to eliminate visceral Larva migrans.

Most common side effects: nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, diarrhea, weight loss, stomach pain, abdominal pain, tiredness, and dizziness.

8. Secnidazole

Secnidazole is a drug that interferes with the DNA of protozoa, causing their death, being widely used for the treatment of Amebiasis and Giardiasis.

How to use: the recommended dose of this medication is 30 mg per kg of body weight, in a single dose, without exceeding the maximum dose of 2 g, for the treatment of amoebiasis bowel or giardiasis. In the case of hepatic amebiasis, the treatment time can vary from 5 to 7 days, according to medical advice.This remedy should be taken with a little liquid, preferably after dinner.

Most common side effects: nausea, stomach pain, altered taste, metallic taste, inflammation of the tongue and lining of the mouth, decreased number of white blood cells in the blood, dizziness.

9. Metronidazole

It is a useful antibiotic for several types of bacteria, however, it has a great action against protozoa that cause intestinal diseases such as Amebiasis and Giardiasis, acting by interfering with the DNA of bacteria and protozoa, causing their death. In addition, it is also widely used for other types of protozoan infections, such as vaginal infections by Gardnerella vaginalis and Trichomoniasis.

How to use: the recommended use to treat Giardiasis is 250 mg 3 times a day for 5 days, while to treat Amoebiasis it is recommended to take 500 mg, 4 times a day, for 5 days to 10 days, which should be guided by the doctor.

Most common side effects: abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, oral mucositis, taste changes such as metallic taste, dizziness, headache, urticaria.

10. Praziquantel

It is an antiparasitic used for the treatment of infections such as Schistosomiasis, Taeniasis and Cysticercosis, acting by causing paralysis of the worm, which is then killed by the action of the body's immunity.

How to use: to treat schistosomiasis in adults and children over 4 years old, 2 to 3 doses of 20 mg per kg of weight are recommended in a single day. To treat Taeniasis, it is recommended 5 to 10 mg per kg of body weight, in a single dose, and for Cysticercosis, 50 mg/kg a day, divided into 3 daily doses, for 14 days.

Most common side effects: abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, weakness, and hives.

In some cases, it is also possible that the dose and number of days of use of the mentioned drugs vary, according to medical indication, in case there are particularities in the treatment of each person, such as the existence of impaired immunity, as in cases of people with AIDS, or if the infection by the worms is more serious, as in cases of hyperinfection or infections of organs outside the intestine, for example.

Who should not use medicine for worms

Remedies for worms should not be used by children under 2 years of age, pregnant women and nursing mothers, except under medical supervision. The medication package insert should be read carefully, because each medication may have different contraindications.

Homemade options for worms

There are options for natural remedies that can help fight worms, however they should never replace the treatment guided by the doctor, being only complementary options.

Some examples are eating pumpkin seeds, papaya seeds or having a peppermint drink with milk, for example, but there is no scientific proof of the effectiveness of these home remedies for treatment. See information on home remedies for worms.

How to avoid getting infected again

Worms can always be around, in untreated water, on the floor and even in food that hasn't been washed well. Therefore, to protect from worm infection, it is important to follow some tips such as:

  • Keep your hands sanitized, washing them with soap and water, after using the restrooms or going to public places;
  • Avoid biting nails;
  • Avoid walking barefoot, especially on dirt and mud ground;
  • Do not drink water that is not properly filtered or boiled;
  • Wash and sanitize salads and fruits before eating. Here's a simple way to wash vegetables well before eating.

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