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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.

How do antiparasitic medications work?

Antiparasitic drugs employ various mechanisms to fight parasitic infections. They can eliminate parasites or their eggs, impede the growth of parasites, and induce paralysis in the parasites, rendering them unable to attach themselves to the host. These multifaceted actions contribute to the efficacy of antiparasitic medications in treating and managing parasitic diseases.

Antiparasitic agents constitute a category of medications utilized to manage and treat parasitic diseases induced by helminths, amoeba, parasitic fungi, protozoa, and ectoparasites. Parasites, residing on or within a host organism, benefit from the host at its expense. However, antiparasitic agents are ineffective against viral infections like the common cold and flu.

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  • Infection
  • Anemia
  • STD
  • UTI
  • Skin
  • Covid


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Hi I’m Dr. Nicole. How may I help you?

Dr. Nicole, I’ve been experiencing symptoms that suggest a potential parasitic infection. Could i recieve the prescription for this condition?


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  • Albendazole, 400mg, once daily for three days.



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Side effects of antiparasitic medicines

Antiparasitic medications can have mild to severe side effects on the patient’s health as follows:


  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain
  • Flatulence (gas)
  • Unpleasant metallic taste
  • Anorexia (lack or loss of appetite)


Other rare side effects are as follows:

  • Visual impairment
  • Muscle weakness
  • Urine discoloration
  • Abnormal liver function test
  • Numbness or tingling of hands or feet
  • Dizziness (feeling faint, weak, or unsteady)
  • Allergic reactions such as rash/hives and itching
  • Leukopenia (reduced number of white blood cells)
  • Tinnitus (ringing or other noises in one or both ears)

The information provided does not cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Consult your doctor to ensure the compatibility of these drugs with other medications. Never discontinue your medication or alter your dose without consulting your doctor.

Who should not take antiparasitic medications?

Following people should avoid taking antiparasitic drugs to avoid the risk of complications: 

  • Patients with calcified disease
  • Individuals with kidney disease
  • Those with a weakened immune system
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding individuals (consult with a doctor due to potential risks to the baby)

FAQs about antiparasitic

What is the best prescription for parasites?

Albendazole is the preferred antiparasitic drug for conditions like ascariasis, trichuriasis, trichinosis, cutaneous larva migrans, hookworm, pinworm infections, and the majority of roundworm (nematode) diseases.

How long does antiparasitic take to work?

The medication typically begins working immediately, but it might take several days to eliminate all the worms.

How often should you take anti-parasite medication?

As parasitic infestation occurs commonly in adults and children, experts recommend deworming twice a year, or every six months, starting at the age of two. Deworming involves the use of medication to eliminate intestinal parasites, including worms.

Can you get rid of parasites without going to the doctor?

Some parasitic infections may resolve independently, particularly with a robust immune system and a balanced diet. Persistent cases often necessitate prescription oral medication, which is generally effective.

What antibiotics treat parasites?

Metronidazole and tinidazole, both 5-nitroimidazole derivatives, serve as antibiotics with efficacy against amoebiasis and other protozoal diseases such as trichomoniasis and giardiasis.

What is the prescription medicine for intestinal parasites?

Antinematodal drugs like Albendazole are employed to manage infections caused by nematodes (roundworms), acting as the drug of choice for various parasitic infections from pinworms, hookworms, and larva migrans. 

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