Giardia Lamblia - Treatments

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What kinds of treatment, including medication, did you receive for your giardiasis?

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How is giardiasis treated?

The most common treatment for giardiasis is metronidazole (Flagyl) for 5-10 days. It has an efficacy rate of 75% to 100%, but it often causes gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea and a metallic taste as well as dizziness and headache. Despite its effectiveness, metronidazole is not approved by the FDA in the U.S. for treatment of giardiasis.

Tinidazole has replaced furazolidone as the FDA-approved drug for treatment of the condition, and is highly effective at treating giardiasis (>90%). It also can be given as a single dose and is well tolerated. Furazolidone and Quinacrine are effective for treating giardiasis but are no longer available in the U.S. Paromomycin and albendazole are less effective than other treatments.

Occasionally, treatment fails to eradicate Giardia. In such cases, the drug may be changed or a longer duration or higher dose may be used. Combination therapy also may be effective (e.g., quinacrine and metronidazole).

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Nabs, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 14

I suffered a month and a half before getting proper diagnosis, from the third doctor I sought. I was in pain with tummy cramps of the meanest degree, stool that was toxic and nasty smelling but mostly watery. And the frequency was so high that by the end of the month I didn't even make it to the toilet. It was straining the last bits of energy in me since food nauseated me! I lived on yoghurt and rice. And lots of ORS (oral rehydration solution). The stool test confirmed the presence of giardia. I lost more than 4 kgs and still feel weak. Flagyl increased my nausea so I was put on Cycin, which is an antibiotic. Last year I had suffered from typhoid so this made my stomach more vulnerable.

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Comment from: Heather, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 23

I recently got stomach cramps and had dysentery for the past week. I went to the doctor and only because I have had giardiasis before many times, did I know to ask for the treatment but I find health professionals reluctant to admit that the patient has it and so had to put up with the illness for a week before being prescribed Flagyl. I felt instantly better. No giardia showed up in my stools. There is only a small chance of it showing up. Over the years I have learned that I have caught giardia through the drinking water, particularly a day or two after a heavy rain.

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