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Pinworms (cont.)


Medicine is often used for pinworm infections that are causing symptoms such as itching. Over-the-counter and prescription medicines come in liquid, chewable tablet, and pill forms. Most pinworm infections are cured with medicine.

Because medicines do not kill pinworm eggs, two doses are given, usually 2 weeks apart. The second dose is necessary to kill any worms that may have hatched from eggs after the initial treatment. In some cases of reinfection, 4 to 6 treatments (spaced 2 weeks apart) are needed.

Medication Choices

Prescription medicines

Albendazole (Albenza)

Nonprescription medicine

Pyrantel pamoate (Pin-X)

Do not use other medicines to treat pinworms without first speaking to your doctor.

What To Think About

Pinworm medicine is not recommended for use by pregnant women, breast-feeding women, or children younger than 2 without talking to a doctor about the risks and benefits of medicine. These groups are advised to use measures to prevent reinfection rather than using medicine. For more information, see the Home Treatment section of this topic.


Surgical treatment to treat complications due to pinworm infection is uncommon. The surgery needed would depend on the type of complication.

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