Anthelmintics for Pinworms
How It Works
These prescription medicines kill both immature pinworms and adult pinworms. They do not kill pinworm eggs.
Why It Is Used
Albendazole and mebendazole treat infections caused by parasites, such as pinworms.
How Well It Works
Anthelmintics work well to cure pinworm infections. For example, two doses of mebendazole given about 2 weeks apart cures the infection in at least 90 out of 100 people who have pinworms.1
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:
Call your doctor right away if you or your child has:
Common 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
Before you take albendazole, ask your doctor or pharmacist if it's safe for you to drink grapefruit juice during your treatment.
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.
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
Some medicines can harm your baby. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. Make sure that all your doctors know that you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant.
Do not use albendazole if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant. If you need to use this medicine, talk to your doctor about how you can prevent pregnancy. If you are breast-feeding, do not use albendazole unless your doctor tells you to.
If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant, do not use mebendazole unless your doctor tells you to.
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.
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