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About antiparasitic medications

Parasitic infections can be bothersome all year long. That’s where antiparasitic medications come into play, treating mild to lethal infections. These medications are primarily parasite-specific and have a certain mode of action and strength. Some parasitic infections include malaria, Lyme disease, head lice, pinworm, and scabies. 

What conditions does antiparasitic treat?

Antiparasitic medications can treat a range of parasitic infections, including the following: 

  • Enterobiasis: A pinworm infection.
  • Head Lice: Infestations of the scalp by parasitic lice.
  • Malaria: A significant global concern caused by mosquito bites.
  • Diarrhea: Caused by Cryptosporidium parvum or Giardia lamblia.
  • Tapeworm Infection: Infestation by flatworms living in the intestines.
  • Dientamoeba fragilis: Parasite residing in the large intestine of humans.
  • Giardiasis: Intestinal infection causing diarrhea, gas, and stomach cramps.
  • Trichomoniasis: A sexually transmitted disease affecting both men and women.
  • Chagas Disease: Inflammatory infectious disease caused by Trypanosoma cruzi.
  • Toxoplasmosis: Disease resulting from infection with the Toxoplasma gondii parasite.
  • Amebic Liver Abscess: Pus collection in the liver due to the parasite Entamoeba histolytica.
  • Amebiasis: Infection causing diarrhea, gas, and stomach cramps; may spread to organs like the liver.
  • Roundworm Diseases: These include trichinosis, strongyloidiasis, ascariasis, and hookworm disease.
  • Cutaneous Leishmaniasis: A skin infection caused by a single-celled parasite transmitted by sand flies.

Types of antiparasitic medicines

Numerous antiparasitic drugs exist, and healthcare professionals classify them into three primary categories, each designed to address distinct types of infestations. The key classes of antiparasitic medications are:

  • Antiprotozoal Agents: Target protozoa and include antimalarial drugs, for example, metronidazole, fenbendazole, and tinidazole.
  • Antihelminthic Agents: Designed for infections caused by parasitic worms, offering treatment for such conditions, e.g., Albendazole, Ivermectin, Mebendazole, and Nitazoxanide.
  • Ectoparasiticides: Employed by healthcare providers to eliminate lice, scabies, and various other ectoparasites such as Permethrin, Fipronil, Lindane, and Pyrethrin.