People suffering from giardia without experiencing any symptoms do not require treatment unless the parasites spread, notes Mayo Clinic. Many people tend to get better on their own after a few weeks. However, when signs and symptoms occur, the doctor prescribes medications such as Metronidazole, Tinidazole and Nitazoxanide.
Also known as Flagyl, Metronidazole is a common antibiotic used to treat giardia. It may have some side effects including strange taste in the mouth and nausea. A patient should stop drinking alcohol when using this medication. Tinidazole, or Tindamax, can be taken together with metronidazole to enhance the effectiveness of the drug. It can be taken in a single dose. Nitazoxanide comes in liquid form, making it easier for children to use. Its side effects include flatulence, bright yellow urine, yellow eyes and nausea, notes Mayo Clinic.
There are no medications recommended for pregnant women because they have potential adverse side effects to the unborn baby. If an expectant woman has mild symptoms, the doctor delays treatment until after the first trimester. In cases where treatment is necessary, a person should seek advice from a physician on the best possible approach. Practicing proper hygiene, such as washing hands regularly, helps to prevent giardia, notes United States National Institutes of Health's MedlinePlus. A person should also not drink contaminated water.