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Pyrantel Pamoate for the Treatment of Pinworms


Generic NameBrand Name
pyrantel pamoatePin-X, Reese's Pinworm Medicine

Pyrantel pamoate treats pinworm infections. The dose of pyrantel pamoate given is based on the person's weight.

Pyrantel pamoate comes as a liquid or a chewable pill. Some brands come with a small measuring cup and a weight chart on the box so that you can calculate correct doses. If you have problems calculating a dose or have concerns about the medicine, talk with a pharmacist or your doctor.

How It Works

Pyrantel pamoate kills adult pinworms. It does not kill pinworm eggs.

Why It Is Used

Pyrantel pamoate is an over-the-counter medicine commonly used for pinworm infections. It is taken after a definite diagnosis of pinworms has been made by either seeing the worms or doing a transparent (cellophane) tape test. Your doctor may also suggest it if other pinworm medicines haven't worked.

How Well It Works

Pyrantel pamoate gets rid of pinworm infections most of the time. But reinfection with pinworms is very common.

Side Effects

All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.

Here are some important things to think about:

  • Usually the benefits of the medicine are more important than any minor side effects.
  • Side effects may go away after you take the medicine for a while.
  • If side effects still bother you and you wonder if you should keep taking the medicine, call your doctor. He or she may be able to lower your dose or change your medicine. Do not suddenly quit taking your medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

Callor other emergency services right away if you or your child has:

  • Trouble breathing.
  • Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor if you or your child has:

  • Hives.

Side effects of this medicine include:

See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

What To Think About

If you have liver problems, do not take this medicine unless your doctor advises it.

To help prevent pinworm reinfection and the spread of infection to others, wash your hands carefully and often, and wash clothes and bedding regularly. For more information, see the topic Pinworms.

Taking medicine

Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.

There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.

Advice for women

If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant, do not use any medicines unless your doctor tells you to. Some medicines can harm your baby. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. And make sure that all your doctors know that you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant.


Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

Complete the new medication information form (PDF)Click here to view a form.(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical ReviewerSusan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Last RevisedAugust 30, 2012

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