877-944-6131 Email Us

Clinician’s Corner: Pinworm Infections

Pinworm infections are caused by a small, thin, white roundworm called Enterobius vermicularis. This infection affects all people, especially children, institutionalized persons, and household members of persons with pinworm infection. Pinworms are spread by humans, and not by pets!

Epidemiology

Mode of transmission: Pinworms are transmitted from fecal to hand to mouth. Eggs may also be ingested by inhalation. The incubation period for pinworms is 1 to 2 months or longer for the adult pregnant female to mature in the small intestine.

These eggs are deposited around the anus by the worm and can be carried to common surfaces such as hands, toys, bedding, clothing, and toilet seats. By putting anyone’s contaminated hands (including one’s own) around the mouth area or putting one’s mouth on common contaminated surfaces, a person can ingest pinworm eggs and become infected with the pinworm parasite. Since pinworm eggs are so small, it is possible to inhale them while breathing.

Symptoms: usually no symptoms, but itching around the anus is common.

Diagnosis:

  • Seeing worms in the anal region 2 to 3 hours after the infected person is asleep.
  • Touch the anal region skin with Scotch tape to collect possible pinworm eggs around the anus at first rising. Use a “popsicle stick” or tongue depressor with double side tape

PRESCRIPTION TREATMENT OPTIONS

  • Mebendazole (Emverm®-100mg) the cost is nearly $450.00 per tablet without insurance!
    • Dose= 100mg as a single dose. A second dose in 2 weeks may be appropriate if needed; Tablets may be chewed, swallowed whole, or crushed and mixed with food.
    • Approved for children 2 years of age and older
    • emverm.com is a patient friendly website with good information. Also has a $60 coupon available.

So, as we can see there is only one prescription option that has FDA approval for treatment of pinworms.  Next week we will discuss how your Thompson Pharmacist can “take over” and recommend a reasonable treatment option, along with patient counseling points for pinworm infections.

Your Thompson Pharmacist is a great resource for all kinds of treatment for you and your family.  No need to feel embarrassed asking your Thompson Pharmacist about these “sensitive” health care concerns.  We’re here to help, because at Thompson Pharmacy… it’s all for YOU!