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What is the treatment for giardiasis?

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Quick Answer

Most of the time, giardiasis does not require treatment, but in some severe or persistent cases, physicians do prescribe medications, such as a particular antibiotic, according to Mayo Clinic. These medications may have side effects in some patients.

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The most common medication for giardiasis is the antibiotic metronidazole, Mayo Clinic states. A similar drug, tinidazole, may be given because it can be taken in one dose. Both medications can create a metallic taste in the mouth as well as nausea.

Nitazoxanide is sometimes prescribed for children with giardiasis because it comes in a liquid form that is easier to swallow, Mayo Clinic reports. Patients sometimes experience gas, bright yellow urine, yellow eyes and nausea when taking this medication.

Most of the time, patients get better on their own in a few weeks without treatment for giardiasis, Mayo Clinic says. In addition to severe or persistent cases, physicians also treat the condition if the patient may be likely to spread the parasite.

Giardiasis, also known as giardia infection, is a condition contracted from a waterborne parasite that is found primarily in places with poor sanitation, Mayo Clinic explains. It causes intestinal problems, including watery diarrhea, bloating, cramps and nausea. It can be spread by eating exposed food or person-to-person contact.

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