Over the Counter Treatment for Threadworms

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Young child writing in a notebook. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Threadworms (pinworms) are the most common worm humans can contract. Thread-like in appearance, these worms are white and can grow up to 1.5 centimeters long. They survive inside the human body causing itching and irritation around the anus. Occasionally, they are seen in the stool or visible around the anus. Highly contagious, they are typically passed among children in school or other populated places and then brought home to infect the entire family.

Pin X

Pin X (generic name pyrantel) is an oral medication for treating threadworms in children (over the age of 2) and adults. Pyrantel, an over-the-counter anthelmintic medication works by paralyzing worms, roundworms, hookworms and varied infestations. Side effects may include rash, or less commonly, insomnia, nausea or vomiting, drowsiness, dizziness, abdominal pain or cramping, diarrhea, irritability and loss of appetite.

Alternative Remedies

If you prefer a natural remedy for threadworm relief start with your diet. Eliminating all fatty, refined foods and maintaining a diet of only fresh fruits for five to seven days is recommended. Another approach is consuming foods like garlic, coconut and grated carrot to expel worms. Garlic was used by the Chinese, Greeks, Hindus, Romans and Babylonians for banishing intestinal worms. Today, modern biological practitioners continue to use it for this purpose, according to Dr. Anshu Gupta, yoga, meditation and naturopathy expert. In addition, coconut is an ancient remedy for ejecting worms from the body and is the most effective natural treatment for worms, according to Gupta.

Reese's Pinworm Medicine

Reese's Pinworm Medicine is another over-the-counter medication with the active ingredient pyrantel. The drugmaker claims one dose taken orally is sufficient for eliminating threadworms. However, infestation might occur several weeks later as remaining eggs will hatch. For this reason it is best to follow up with another dose of medication.

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