Pinworm Infection (cont.)

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What is the treatment of pinworms, and is there a home treatment?

Pinworm medications

  • Usually, a single tablet of mebendazole (Vermox) is used for treatment. This can sometimes be repeated a week later or, if infection persists, the medication is given again three weeks later. Some clinicians recommend a treatment protocol of a drug dose every 3 weeks, 3 times, so that the person has effective drug treatment for about 9 weeks total. Vermox has been discontinued in the US, but stocks are still available in some pharmacies.
  • Another effective medication is albendazole (Albenza) but it may require other medications to reduce the inflammation of the central nervous system, a side effect of the drug. Albendazole is well tolerated with minimal side effects due to minimal systemic absorption.
  • Pyrantel pamoate (Pin-Rid, Pin-X) is available over-the-counter for pinworm after confirmation of the diagnosis by a licensed healthcare practitioner. Drugs available over-the-counter vary from country to country.  Pyrantel is the treatment of choice for pregnant women.
  • To treat pinworms affecting urinary and genital organs, combination therapy with oral mebendazole (Vermox) and ivermectin (Stromectol) for the worms as well as topical therapy for the eggs may be required.

Most pinworm infections are treated at home with the above medications. However, reinfection is fairly common. To both reduce the chances for reinfection and to help prevent others from getting pinworms, see the prevention section.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/6/2015

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Pinworms - Experience Question: Did more than one member of your family become infected with pinworms?
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