What Is the Best Antiparasitic Drug
Albendazole is one of the best antiparasitic drugs for ascariasis, trichuriasis, trichinosis, cutaneous larva migrans, hookworm, and pinworm infections

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.

Malaria is one of the most widespread parasite infections. Parasites can also occasionally cause stomach flu. The following are some of the most prevalent parasitic infections in the U.S.:

What are different types of antiparasitic drugs?

Antiparasitic drugs are divided into three categories, based on the three types of infections they treat:

  1. Ectoparasiticides (eradicate ectoparasites such as lice, scabies, and other parasites)
  2. Antihelminthic medications (used to treat infections caused by parasitic worms)
  3. 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.

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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:

Serious side effects of albendazole include:

Other antiparasitic may cause side effects such as:

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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Medically Reviewed on 11/9/2022
References
Image Source: iStock image

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