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How is a tapeworm infection treated?

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In humans, an intestinaltapeworm infection is treated with prescribed oral drugs that can include praziquantel and nitazoxanide, relates Mayo Clinic. However,the type of drug prescribed is dependent on the tapeworm species and infection location. When the tapeworm larvae travel outside the intestine to other sites, it can lead to cyst formation at these sitesthat mayalso require othertreatments like steroids and surgery, informs Medical News Today.

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When confined to the intestines, both adult tapeworms and their eggs will be destroyed with amedication like praziquantel. Once outside the intestinal area, it becomes an invasive tapeworm infection that can cause cysts in different body tissues or organs, reports Medical News Today. This can damage these tissues, and the treatment option is to shrink the cysts with drugs.

In cases that cause inflammation due to a cyst, the treatment can be to use an anti-inflammatory steroid medication. Surgery is a possibility when the infection affects organs like the liver or lungs, states Mayo Clinic. If an invasive tapeworm infection involves the brain, then it can also cause a complication like hydrocephalus that may require a permanent shunt to remove excess fluid.

A tapeworm infection can occur when a person eats contaminated meats or foods that have this parasitic worm. Beef, pork and dwarf tapeworms are three types of worms that can infect people. Although some people may not have symptoms, others can experiencediarrhea, weight loss and stomach pain. Parts of the worm may be present in stool. Diagnosing the infection can require a stool sample, blood or imaging tests, informs WebMD.

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