Pinworm (Enterobius vermicularis) infections are extremely common. Although any individual may develop a case of pinworms, the infection occurs most frequently in school children between 5 to 10 years of age. Pinworm infections occur in all socioeconomic groups; however, human-to-human spread is favored by close, crowded living conditions. Spread among family members is common. Animals do not harbor pinworms - humans are the only natural host for this parasite.
The most common symptom of pinworms is an itchy rectal area. Symptoms are worse at night when the female worms are most active and crawl out of the anus to deposit their eggs. Although pinworm infections can be annoying, they rarely cause serious health problems and are usually not dangerous. Therapy with routine prescription medications provides an effective cure in almost all cases.
Albendazole (Albenza) is the most common treatment for pinworms.
Treatment is a single tablet, which kills the worms. There are different strengths for adults and children younger than two years of age.
Because eggs can survive for a few weeks, the patient will have to take a second dose two weeks later to lessen the chance of reinfection
- Albendazole Information for Consumers
- Albendazole Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Albendazole (detailed)
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