What Are Anthelmintic Drugs and How They Work?

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What Are Anthelmintic Drugs and How They Work?


According to the statistics of the World Health Organization, more than two billion people, which amount to almost one-third of the human population, harbors parasites. Anthelmintic medication, which is commonly known as de-worming, helps eliminate such parasites and worms from the body. The medication, which destroys parasites effectively, is used to de-worm animals too.

Some parasites pester only a single species while many have the propensity to affect and distribute between multiple species. The latter type can easily affect humans because of their proximity to animals. The usual symptoms of infection ranges from loss of body weight, problems with abdominal functioning, discomfort in the intestines, hair loss or malnutrition.

However, some parasites acquire immunity to certain drugs over a period of time, and in such cases, multiple doses may be required. The process is approached in a delicate manner by physicians because the anthelmintic process can make the affected person or animal sicklier for short periods. Small dosages are the best bet here because heavy doses can pose health hazards to the parasitic host.

Depending on the type of parasite, a plethora of anthelmintic medications, including ivermectin, albendazole, mebendazole, diethylcarbamazine, and praziquantel, are commonly used. The dosage is determined by the seriousness of the situation and the stage of life cycle in which the parasitic worm is. Some of these drugs can handle a variety of such parasites, which some are specifically designed to destroy one particular parasite.

Anthelmintic drugs destroy these parasites in two ways. Vermifuges stun these unwanted guests and make them unsettled while vermicides kill them outright. In both the cases, the worms can easily be expelled from the body. Along with pharmaceutical drugs, some natural compounds are also found to be effective in treating these kinds of infestations.

The number of affected human beings is simply astounding, which points out to the need for good hygienic practices. People need to be educated about effective strategies against this health menace. Frequent washing of hands, keeping away from areas known to be breeding grounds for such parasites etc are effective measures, but the problem is that these parasitic attacks are infectious and can pass from one carrier to another.

Again, there is always a chance for getting re-infected by the same kind of works, if utmost care is not given. For example, people working with farm animals need to be doubly cautious and take precautionary measures. Dogs and cats can ingest them from the food they hunt. This means that your pet also needs to be administered de-worming drugs periodically while you follow a healthy and informed lifestyle in order to pre-empt any chance of getting affected or re-affected.

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