How to Treat Pinworm

Last Editorial Review: 1/11/2018

Ask the experts

How is pinworm infection treated?

Doctor's response

Pinworm infection can be treated with prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. The drugs of choice are mebendazole (brand name: Vermox) and pyrantyl pamoate (brand names include Pin-X and PROWORM). All members of a family should be treated when control by drugs is undertaken.

Even with the availability of OTC drugs, you should consult your health care provider before treating your child or another person suspected of having pinworm.

To prevent reinfection:

  • Bathe when you wake up (to help reduce the pinworm egg contamination).
  • Change and wash your underwear each day. Wear pinworm-free underclothing.
  • Frequent changing of night clothes is similarly recommended.
  • Change underwear, night clothes, and sheets after each treatment.
  • Open blinds or curtains in bedrooms during the day (because the pinworm eggs are sensitive to sunlight).
  • .
  • Personal hygiene should include washing hands after going to the toilet and before eating.
  • Trim fingernails short.
  • Don't bite nails (because of the danger of swallowing pinworm eggs).
  • Don't scratch bare anal areas (that is where the pinworm eggs are).

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