Threadworms, a common parasite found in faeces, often affect children and spread easily. While they can usually be treated without visiting a GP for a prescription, stubborn infections may require prescription-strength threadworm medication. Complete the consultation below to order your threadworm medication online. A qualified pharmacist will review your consultation and send it for processing.

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    • About Threadworms

      Threadworms, also known as pinworms, are small, parasitic worms that commonly infect the human intestine, particularly in children. These worms are white and thin, resembling small pieces of thread, hence their name. Infection occurs when threadworm eggs are ingested, typically due to poor hygiene, such as not washing hands after using the toilet or before eating. The eggs then hatch in the intestines, where the worms mature and reproduce.

      The life cycle of threadworms includes the female laying eggs around the anus, usually at night. This can cause intense itching and discomfort, leading to sleep disturbances. The scratching of the itchy area can lead to the spread of eggs to bedding, clothes, and other surfaces, where they can survive for up to two weeks. If these contaminated surfaces are touched, the eggs can be transferred to the mouth and swallowed, continuing the cycle of infection.

      Threadworms are a common issue, particularly in settings where children are in close contact, such as schools and day-care centres. While the condition is generally not serious, it can be uncomfortable and may lead to secondary skin infections from scratching. Treatment typically involves medication that kills the worms but not their eggs, thus hygiene measures are crucial to prevent re-infection.

    • Symptoms

      The most notable symptom of threadworms is severe itching around the anus, particularly at night when the female worms lay their eggs. This itching can lead to discomfort and disturbed sleep. In some cases, visible worms may appear in the stool or around the anal area, resembling thin, white threads.

      • Transmission: Threadworms are transmitted through the ingestion of their tiny eggs. These eggs can be transferred from the anal area to surfaces like toys, bedding, or clothing through scratching. They can survive on surfaces for up to two weeks and are inadvertently ingested from contaminated hands or objects.
      • Life Cycle: After the eggs are ingested, they hatch in the intestines, where they grow into adult worms. The cycle of laying eggs and reinfection continues unless treated.

      Effective management of threadworms includes both medication and rigorous hygiene practices to prevent re-infection. Medications such as mebendazole are commonly used to kill the worms, but since the medication does not kill the eggs, strict hygiene measures are essential.

    • Diagnosis

      Threadworms are diagnosed through a combination of symptom assessment and direct detection of eggs or worms. The most common diagnostic method is the “tape test.” This involves pressing a piece of clear adhesive tape to the skin around the anus early in the morning, before the person suspected of having threadworms bathes or uses the toilet. The tape is then examined under a microscope to detect the presence of threadworm eggs. This test might need to be repeated on consecutive days to increase the likelihood of detecting the eggs.

      Additionally, visual inspection at night might reveal active worms, as threadworms are known to migrate to the anal area to lay eggs during the night. This method involves checking the perianal area with a torch after the child or affected person has been asleep for a few hours.

    • Treatment

      Prescription medications like Vermox, containing the active ingredient Mebendazole, are highly effective in treating threadworms. These medications work by preventing the worms from absorbing sugars which are vital for their survival, leading to their eventual death. However, these medications do not kill the eggs, which makes hygiene practices crucial to prevent re-infection.

      Here are some key points regarding the products available from My Pharmacy:

      Vermox 100mg Tablets: This formulation is effective against threadworms and can also treat other common worm infections such as roundworm and hookworm. A single tablet is often sufficient for treatment, but following up with strict hygiene measures is essential to prevent re-infection.

      Vermox Suspension 30ml: This is a liquid form of Mebendazole, suitable for those who might find tablets difficult to swallow. It treats threadworms and other worm infections, and like the tablet form, requires adherence to hygiene practices to completely eradicate the worms.

    • Prevention Strategies

      To help prevent threadworm infections, follow these hygiene and household measures:

      ● Hand Hygiene: Wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water, especially after using the toilet, before eating, and after changing diapers. Ensure fingernails are kept clean and short.
      ● Daily Showers: Showering each morning can help remove any eggs laid overnight.
      ● Laundry Practices: Wash sleepwear, bed linens, towels, and underwear in hot water daily, especially after treatment starts.
      ● House Cleaning: Regularly clean and disinfect kitchen and bathroom surfaces. Vacuum floors and dust with a damp cloth to avoid spreading eggs.
      ● Avoid Scratching: Discourage scratching the anal area to prevent the spread of eggs. Wearing underwear at night and changing it in the morning can help contain any eggs laid overnight.
      ● Proper Food Handling: Avoid eating food that has fallen on the floor to prevent ingesting eggs.

      By adhering to these steps, you can significantly reduce the risk of becoming infected with threadworms or spreading the infection to others.