Many people believe that parasitic infections are a problem of the past, at least in those countries where there are no difficulties with accessing clean water and the corresponding medications. Certainly, such diseases are more common in low-income tropical and subtropical countries, but, in practice, they are constantly registered all around the globe. So, it is known that around 24% of people on our planet are infected with helminths, which are spread through contaminated soil.
What is a parasitic infection? It is a disease, which is provoked by a microorganism, which lives on or inside a human body and uses it as a source of nutrients for living, growing, reproducing. Some of such parasites may live in a human organism without noticeably affecting it, however, most of them provoke a wide range of adverse symptoms and may even cause fatal complications in people with a weakened immune system.
Common Signs of A Parasite Invasion
- pains or spasms in the stomach;
- vomiting, diarrhea, gas, and other digestive problems without a clear reason;
- a reduction in the body weight with no explanation;
- feeling hungry all the time;
- continuous tiredness;
- depressed mode;
- rash, itching, eczema, and other skin reactions;
- pains or inflammation in the muscles, joints, lymph nodes;
- itching or another discomfort in the genital or anus area.
Obviously, the list above is generalized. In practice, the range of parasitic infections is extremely diversified, hence, their symptoms vary vastly.
Scientists differentiate 3 types of parasites that affect humans:
- Protozoa — these one-cell microorganisms live in human tissue or blood. They are transmitted through dirty hands, contaminated food and water, bites of insects, and, in some cases, sex. As for examples of diseases, the most widespread are malaria, Chagas, toxoplasmosis. All in all, this group includes more than 70 species.
- Helminths — in other words, worms. As you probably know, one can catch such an infection when eating undercooked meat and fish (for example, sushi), drinking contaminated water, or just ignoring hand hygiene. There are 300 species of such worms, and they can get into and affect diversified organs and systems of an organism.
- Ectoparasites — they differ from the previous two groups as they live outside of the human body — on the skin. As a rule, they need human blood for living. Furthermore, they cause infections by themselves and spread viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. Thus, in the case of a bite, one risks catching more than one infection at once. This group includes lice, mites, fleas, etc.
What If You Suspect that You Are Infected?
- Strive to stay calm. None of the symptoms mentioned is a 100% sign of an infection.
- Schedule a consultation with your doctor.
- Pass the tests and investigations required (blood or fecal tests, endoscopy, colonoscopy, X-rays, etc).
- Start the therapy at once after receiving a prescription.
- Follow the dose and regimen recommended strictly. You must never change the dose, regardless of the results of the treatment or side effects faced unless that is approved by your doctor.
- Remember that most reactions of toxic nature are caused by parasites (they are not connected with the drugs administered) as they keep on using your organism as a source of nutrients or die. Do not abandon the treatment due to such reactions.
- If you are concerned about the cost of treatment, you can safely replace brand medicines with generic analogs, which are ordinarily over 50% cheaper (see more details below). Just ask your doctor or pharmacist about such an option.
Which Medications Can Be Used?
- Ivermectin (you’ve probably heard about it as Stromectol). It is a number-one medication against worm infections: ascariasis, onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis, trichuriasis, strongyloidiasis. It has no toxic effects and works from the first intake in most cases. Furthermore, it is widely available as cheap generic products here: bioblastpharma.com/product/ivermectin-generic.
- Albendazole (Albenza). It is the only product licensed for echinococcosis and neurocysticercosis infections in the United States.
- Pyrantel (Combantrin). It is also intended against helminthic infections, namely, it is often recommended against enterobiasis (also called pinworms). Other indications — ascariasis, hookworms, trichinellosis, trichostrongyliasis. One can buy it without a prescription, but consulting a doctor is always a must.
- Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil). It was one of the pioneers in the field of malaria treatment. Now, it is actively utilized for preventing and treating this infection, due to its broad efficiency (including against parasites resistant to Chloroquine) and reduced toxicity.
- Metronidazole (Flagyl). This 2-in-1 formulation is both an antibiotic and an antiparasitic medication prescribed in the case of amebiasis, giardiasis, trichomoniasis.
Interested in buying any of the drugs mentioned? Do so in your local pharmacy or using a telehealth servise with delivery in US. The most attractive prices are usually quoted by international drugstores like Canadianpharmacygenerics.com where shipping fees are low while the quality of products and services remains high.
How Much Does Such Treatment Cost?
For your convenience, we’ve found US prices on both brand and generic versions so that you can choose which of the two alternatives suits your budget better.
(8mg, 20 tablets)
|Albendazole (200mg, 4 tablets)||$1033.39||$101.99|
|Pyrantel (125 mcg, 10 tablets)||$164.08||$33.74|
(200mg, 30 tablets)
(500mg, 14 tablets)
How to Protect Yourself?
Although the diversity of such parasites is huge, there are simple rules that allow minimizing the risk of catching any of them:
- Keep your hands clean. Wash them after visiting a toilet, contacting any animals (including your pets), visiting any public places (including transport), before every meal.
- When you are out of home (especially traveling abroad), drink bottled water only.
- Maintain proper hygiene in your kitchen.
- Avoid buying food if you have any doubts about the sanitary conditions in which it is kept or cooked.
- Avoid undercooked meat and fish.
- Wash all the fruits, vegetables, and salad before eating.
- In case you are pregnant and have a pet (especially a cat), do not contact its excrements.
- If you are not sure that your sex partner does not have any sexually-transmitted infections, use a condom.
- Do not bathe in ponds, lakes, or streams if you are not sure about their sanitary safety. Avoid swallowing water when bathing.
- If you are going to visit some tropical or subtropical country where such infections are extremely widespread, take preventive therapy and vaccines recommended by your doctor.
- Use repellents when walking around forests and other places, where parasites are frequently met.
- Install mosquito nets to secure windows and doors.
- Stay indoors from sunset to dawn.
Hopefully, now, you know, how to secure yourself from parasites. Yet, in any case, you must remember that, nowadays, the pharma industry provides a huge scope of safe, efficient, and affordable treatments for such infections.