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What medications treat the symptoms of bowel worms?

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Quick Answer

Medications that treat the symptoms of worms in the bowel, specifically tapeworms, are praziquantel, albendazole and nitazoxanide, says Mayo Clinic. These oral medications destroy the adult tapeworm, though albendazole also shrinks the cysts. Because these drugs only kill the adult tapeworm, it is important that the patient practice proper hygiene so not to reinfect himself.

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Full Answer

Before the patient is started on medication, the doctor ascertains which species of tapeworm is involved, says Mayo Clinic. This is because one drug might work against one species and not against another. When the tapeworm is killed, it either dissolves or passes in the stool, says WebMD. While the patient is taking the medication, the doctor takes stool samples from time to time to make sure that the patient is free of the tapeworm at all stages of its development, claims Mayo Clinic.

If tapeworm cysts invade other areas of the body besides the bowel and cause an infection, the physician prescribes corticosteroids such as prednisone, claims Mayo Clinic. This reduces the inflammation. Another drug that reduces bowel worm infection is dexamethasone. Dexamethasone is another corticosteroid that resembles the natural hormones produced by the adrenal glands, says MedlinePlus. The doctor also prescribes medications that treat epilepsy if the infection causes seizures, according to Mayo Clinic.

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