How long does Vermox take to cure threadworm?

5th June 2019

Sometimes it’s not the deadly or dangerous diseases that get us running to the doctor the quickest. Usually, anything we find to be a bit of a nuisance or anything we think is a bit gross will get us dashing off to the surgery at the speed of light. Common examples of these types of problems include head lice, verrucas, and threadworms. All of these have people wanting to be treated as soon as possible. These issues all share two similarities, they are highly contagious and they seem to mainly affect children.

Perhaps one of the most unpleasant medical conditions that are contagious and affect children the most is threadworm. In this article, we will provide you with all of the information regarding threadworm you may need including what it actually is, how it is treated, and how long the medication, Vermox, takes to work. We will also inform you on how to avoid reinfection from threadworm. 

What is threadworm?

As we have mentioned, threadworm is harmless. The infection is caused by a small parasitic worm that works its way into your large intestine. This worm will make a home in the small intestine and will then lay its eggs there. Once the worm is in your system, it will pass through you in your stool. You may notice the worms in the toilet; they are small and white and look like tiny pieces of thread, hence the name.

Although the worms are harmless and don’t cause any real pain or discomfort, you may experience an uncomfortable scratching sensation around the anus. This is especially true at night, as this is when the worms will lay their eggs. This itchy feeling can then cause you to scratch your anus in your sleep, and the incredibly small eggs get lodged underneath your fingernails. From there, you could unknowingly transfer them to surfaces, clothing, and even food. These surfaces will then be touched, picked up, and possibly ingested by the next person.

Children are less concerned about hygiene and cleanliness than adults are, every parent knows the struggle of telling their children to wash their hands, rather than just letting them do it themselves. This could be the main reason why children are the most at-risk group when it comes to catching and passing threadworms.

A girl taking a red pill.

How do I treat threadworm?

Thankfully, although the infection is a nuisance and is very transmissible, treatment is simple. Vermox tablets contain Mebendazole, an active agent that kills the worms by preventing them from absorbing sugar from your body. Threadworms need sugar to survive, so denying them what they need to survive effectively kills them. The dead worms will then be excreted from the gut in your stool.

However, this process does not kill any unhatched eggs, so it’s important to practice good hygiene to avoid re-infection. This is the main thing that you can do in order to prevent reinfection, but we will go into further detail later.

How long does Vermox take to work?

Generally, you will only need a single dose of Vermox to clear up any threadworm infections. After taking one tablet it can take up to three days for any dead worms to fully pass through your system but after that, you should be in the clear. If there is not a massive improvement you may be prescribed a second dosage a few weeks later. 

Vermox can also be used to treat other types of worm infections. For these different types of infections, you should always take the medication as indicated by your doctor. Some worms may need tablets to be taken twice a day, it all depends on the infection you have. As with other medications, you should always follow the guidelines of the medication and you should ensure you never skip a dose, no matter how much you feel it has helped. If you stop taking medication too early, reinfection is entirely possible.

Threadworm inside the intestines of a human.

Are there any side effects of Vermox?

The majority of medicines will have side effects, and Vermox is not exempt from this. A common side effect of Vermox is mild stomach pain. This is the only side effect that is commonly experienced by users of Vermox. There are other, more uncommon side effects including diarrhoea, flatulence and stomach discomfort, but they are rarely experienced.

In some cases, there have been much rarer side effects, including dizziness, rashes appearing, hair loss, and inflammation of the liver. There can also be some allergic reactions that can lead to swelling of the lips and face, shortness of breath, and blistering of the skin and genitals. If you are prescribed this medication whilst you are pregnant, your doctor will assume that the benefits outweigh any potential risks as this medication has not been established as being safe for use during pregnancy. 

How do I avoid reinfection of threadworms?

It’s important to always practise good hygiene, not doing so is likely what’s causing the threadworm infestation in the first place. You should always wash your hands before and after eating. You should also avoid touching your mouth after touching surfaces that are commonly touched by other people. Amazingly, it needs to be said that you should always wash your hands after going to the toilet.

When you are being treated for threadworm, you may want to pay close attention to other points. When washing your hands, you should really take care to scrub behind the fingernails, this is to ensure that no pesky eggs are hiding there. If you keep your fingernails short and you try and make sure you keep your nails clean, this will go some way to sorting this issue out.

There are other things that you can do to avoid threadworms. You should make sure to wear underwear or pyjamas to bed at night, as this will protect you slightly from scratching yourself whilst using threadworm medication. Having a bath or shower in the morning rather than before you go to bed at night will also help to wash away any eggs that were laid in the anus area overnight.