What are the goals of drug treatment for pinworm infection (enterobiasis)?

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

The goals of pharmacotherapy are to eradicate the infestation, reduce morbidity, and prevent complications. It is important to empirically cover the entire household simultaneously for pinworms when a decision is made to treat. 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]


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