Pinworms cause no harm or discomfort apart from anal itching, and treatment cures most cases. The key is to break the 6-week cycle of pinworm reinfection by killing any live pinworms and preventing the ingestion of eggs. A diagnosis should be confirmed before treating with medications.
Medications kill only the adult worms and have no effect on developing eggs and larvae. The prescription of choice is mebendazole* and the non-prescription medication of choice is pyrantel pamoate. Other non-prescription medications that are available to treat pinworms include piperazine and pyrvinium. Both mebendazole and pyrantel pamoate are given as a single dose and repeated in 2 weeks to kill any newly ingested eggs.
Since the eggs can be easily spread, everyone in the household must be treated with the medication. Reinfection is still common because live eggs continue to be excreted in feces for up to a week after the treatment.
It is essential to machine wash all bedding, clothing, and toys in order to kill all the eggs. You can relieve itching in the anal area with petroleum jelly or anti-itching creams and ointments. Wash your hands frequently, especially after going to the toilet, after scratching, and before eating, and keep your fingernails short to reduce the chance of picking up pinworm eggs.
During the week after treatment, all family members should wear cotton underpants that have been washed in hot soapy water. They should be worn all day and changed twice daily. Children should wear closed sleeping garments or snug underpants to prevent hand contact and contamination of bedding.
*All medications have both common (generic) and brand names. The brand name is what a specific manufacturer calls the product (e.g., Tylenol®). The common name is the medical name for the medication (e.g., acetaminophen). A medication may have many brand names, but only one common name. This article lists medications by their common names. For information on a given medication, check our Drug Information database. For more information on brand names, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2017. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/condition/getcondition/Pinworms