- What Are They
- How They Work
- Side Effects
- Related Resources
Albendazole is the antiparasitic drug of choice for ascariasis, trichuriasis, trichinosis, cutaneous larva migrans, hookworm, and pinworm infections. It is also used to treat the majority of roundworm (nematode) diseases.
Albendazole should be taken in accordance with your doctor's instructions regarding dosage and duration. It is best to take it at the same time each day, with or without food. Even if you feel better, avoid skipping doses and complete the entire course.
What are antiparasitic drugs?
Antiparasitic drugs are used to treat parasitic infections. These infections are caused by parasites, which are microscopic organisms that live on or inside humans and other animals.
Antiparasitic medications come in a variety of forms, with each type working against a specific parasite. The drugs eliminate the parasites by stop[ing their growth or paralyzing them.
What do antiparasitic drugs treat?
Antiparasitic medications are used to treat a wide range of infections caused by different varieties of parasites. The main types of parasites that can cause illness include:
- Ectoparasites: Ectoparasites include bedbugs, fleas, ticks, pubic lice, and head lice. They live outside the body, commonly on the skin or hair. Some ectoparasites, such as bedbugs, are found on bedding or furniture and crawl toward a host, sucking their blood for food.
- Helminths: Helminths include hookworms, roundworms, and pinworms. They are typically found inside the body and have multiple cells and organs.
- Protozoa: Amoebas are a type of protozoa, which are made up of just one cell. These single-cell organisms are extremely small and rapidly grow in the body.
What are different types of antiparasitic drugs?
Antiparasitic drugs are divided into three categories, based on the three types of infections they treat:
- Ectoparasiticides (eradicate ectoparasites such as lice, scabies, and other parasites)
- Antihelminthic medications (used to treat infections caused by parasitic worms)
- Antiprotozoal agents (used to treat protozoal infections and include antimalarial medications)
Based on the parasite causing your infection, your doctor will advise you on the best medication and dosage. Some of these medications have serious side effects, so your doctor can help you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of different antiparasitic drugs.
How do antiparasitic drugs work?
Antiparasitic medications work by:
- Eliminating the parasite or the eggs of the parasite
- Preventing the growth of the parasite
- Paralyzing the parasites to prevent them from attaching to the host
Depending on the kind of infection and the parasite that caused it, you can use antiparasitic drugs in the following ways:
- Orally (by mouth)
- Intravenously (through a needle)
- Topically (applying the medicine to your skin or hair)
What are the side effects of antiparasitic drugs?
The most common side effects of albendazole include:
- Neck stiffness
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Stomach pain
- Abnormal liver function tests
- Spinning sensation
- Temporary hair loss
Serious side effects of albendazole include:
- Sore throat
- Mouth sores
- Convulsions (seizures)
- Severe headaches
- Ringing in your ears
- Vision problems
- Pain behind your eyes
Other antiparasitic may cause side effects such as:
- Abdominal cramping, bloating, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal issues, such as nausea and vomiting
- Dizziness, drowsiness, and fatigue
- Rash or pruritus (itchy skin)
Antiparasitic drugs should be taken according to instructions provided by your doctor. If you experience side effects, contact your doctor immediately.
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Antiparasitic Drugs in the United States—Two Roads to High Prices https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fsoc.2020.540478/full
Antiparasitic Drugs https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejm199605023341808
Antiparasitic drugs. Iv. 2-(4'-thiazolyl)-benzimidazole, a new anthelmintic https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ja01468a052
Antiparasitic Treatment https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/chagas/health_professionals/tx.html
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