What are the treatment options for pinworm infection (enterobiasis)?

Updated: Nov 21, 2018
  • Author: Sun Huh, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
  • Print
Answer

Anthelmintics, such as mebendazole, pyrantel pamoate, and albendazole, are active against Enterobius vermicularis. Itching, irritation, and excoriation should be treated symptomatically. Reinfection with E vermicularis immediately after the completion of drug therapy is common. Additionally, young pinworms may be resistant to drugs. [10] Successful eradication of pinworm infection, also called enterobiasis, requires two doses of medication--an initial dose followed by a subsequent dose two weeks later. [13]

All family members or classmates who are infected must be treated simultaneously. In addition, personal and group hygiene must be improved, individuals must wash their hands before eating, and children should be discouraged from activities such as finger-sucking.

If large numbers of children attending the same school test positive for pinworm eggs, all classmates and family members of the children who are infected should be treated 2 times at 2-week intervals. If less than 30% of class members test positive for pinworm eggs, treating only the children who have positive test results reduces the positive rate for eggs in that class. Follow-up is recommended if the pinworm symptoms persist longer than 2 weeks or if signs of bacterial superinfection occur.

If a general physician is unsure how to care for persons with pinworm infection, a parasitologist should be consulted. If no parasitologist is available, a pediatrician or infectious disease specialist should be consulted instead.


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!