How is the Treatment for Teniasis

Treatment for teniasis is usually started with the use of antiparasitic drugs, administered in the form of pills, which can be done at home, but which must be prescribed by a general practitioner or gastroenterologist.

These remedies can be taken in a single dose or divided into 3 days, and usually include one of the following:

  • Niclosamide;
  • Praziquantel;
  • Albendazole.

Treatment with these remedies eliminates only the adult version of the tapeworm that is in the intestine through the stool, not eliminating its eggs. For this reason, the person undergoing treatment can continue to infect others until all eggs are eliminated from the intestine, as well as being infected again if they ingest eggs and tapeworm larvae in contaminated food.

Thus, it is advisable that care should be taken during treatment to prevent the transmission of the disease, such as cooking food well, avoid drinking non-bottled water and washing your hands well after going to the bathroom, as well as before cooking.

How to confirm treatment success

To confirm that the tapeworm has been eliminated with antiparasitic drugs, the doctor may order a stool test a few days after treatment, to assess whether eggs are present.

Depending on the results of the stool test, the doctor may recommend taking the treatment for a longer time, as the tapeworm may not have been completely eliminated. With the results, the doctor will also be able to replace the medicine that was used, with one that may have more effect, for example.

Treatment for more serious situations

The most serious situations caused by the tapeworm usually happen when the person ingests the eggs, which arrive in the digestive system and release larvae that can reach other parts of the body, such as muscles, heart, lung or eyes. In this case, the infection is known as cysticercosis, rather than teniasis.

In cysticercosis, treatment is done only with Albendazole tablets, as it seems to be the most effective medicine to eliminate the infection, but other medications to relieve symptoms, such as:

  • Corticosteroids, which include Prednisone or Dexamethasone;
  • Antiepileptics, such as Phenytoin or Carbamazepine.

In the case of cysticercosis in the heart, lung or eyes, the doctor may even recommend surgery to remove the tapeworm cysts, which end up impairing the functioning of the organs.

To confirm a cure for cysticercosis, the doctor usually orders an X-ray of the affected sites to assess the presence and size of the cysts.

Better understand the difference between Teniasis and Cysticercosis.

Signs of improvement

The signs of improvement in teniasis appear with the beginning of the ingestion of antiparasitic drugs and include the reduction of symptoms such as diarrhea or constipation, nausea, abdominal or headache.

Signs of worsening

The signs of worsening of teniasis usually appear when the patient does not do the treatment properly and include increased pain intensity, diarrhea episodes and nausea.