According to the Mayo Clinic, tapeworms are often treated with oral medications, the most common being praziquantel. This medication kills the tapeworm causing it to dissolve and pass from the body through bowel movements, thus alleviating the host of symptoms. Many people with tapeworm infections do not have symptoms.
Tapeworm infestations are often caused by eating the raw or undercooked meat of infected animals, notes MedlinePlus. The symptoms that a person with tapeworms develops depend on the type of tapeworm in the body and its location. If the tapeworm is in the intestinal region, possible symptoms include loss of appetite, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea and weight loss, notes the Mayo Clinic. If the tapeworm has invaded the tissues of the body, the symptoms that sometimes develop include cystic masses or lumps, bacterial infections, fever, neurological disorders and allergic reactions.
Diagnosing a tapeworm often requires a stool sample, and a stool sample is also necessary to identify the exact type of worm. Doctors may also draw and check the blood of the host to determine if any antibodies were produced to fight the tapeworm infection, according to WebMD. The type and length of the treatment depends on the type of worm and severity of the infection. Once the tapeworm passes and the symptoms subside, doctors often recheck the stool to make sure the infection has cleared.