Anthelmintic are used to treat helminth or worm infections. Mebendazole is an anthelmentic effective against threadworms, roundworms, whipworms, hookworms and possibly tapeworms, but should be avoided during pregnancy.
Contra-indicated in age below 2 years
For Pregnant Women:
For Breastfeeding Mothers:
Use with caution only if clearly indicated
Impaired kidney function
Blood count to be monitored
When is an anthelmintic used?
Anthelmintic is used to treat intestinal roundworms in adults. Since one of the reasons for maternal anaemia, low birth weight and perinatal mortality has been intestinal worms, it is important to go through deworming during pregnancy. Deworming is a proven and effective strategy already used in children and adults. Studies show that deworming during pregnancy with safe deworming medication cannot just check growth of the intestinal worms, but also addresses the problem of maternal anaemia and improved outcomes in terms or perinatal mortality and birth weight. However, pregnant women should not take any deworming medicine without an obstetrician’s prescription.
What are intestinal worms and how do they spread?
Intestinal worms are parasitic and live in the bowel and lay their eggs around the anus usually at night. Since worms are extremely contagious, pregnant women can easily catch infection. These worms spread through clothes, bed linen and other surfaces touched by the infected person. The eggs survive in air for up to three weeks and they enter into the bowel of the infected person and start laying eggs inside.
How to prevent intestinal worm infection during pregnancy?
Pregnant women can prevent the infection by following strict hygiene measures. If anyone detected with the infection of worms follows strict hygiene steps, can stay away from the infection. Here are some ways to prevent worm infection during pregnancy.
Wash bed linen, soft toys and the night clothes separately.
Make sure you do not shake any of these items while handling and wash your hands thoroughly after laundering these clothes.
Clean your bedrooms regularly.
Avoid taking food inside the bedroom.
Trim your nails and pay attention to strict personal hygiene.
Make sure everyone in the house follows strict hygiene rules.
Wear perfect fitting undergarments and clean them every morning.
Take bath daily and avoid sharing towel or your washed clothes.
Clean your toothbrush in the morning before brushing.
Wash your hands and make sure everyone in the house does especially before eating and after using toilet.
What to do if the above measures do not clear intestinal worm infection?
The above mentioned methods can protect you from getting infected to some extent. However, if the infection persists, your doctor may suggest a safe anthelmintic, which is going to kill the worms. However, the medicine does not kill the eggs and these can be treated only if strict hygienic steps are taken.
Is anthelmintic safe for pregnant women?
It has also been observed that women taking this medicine are not at risk of miscarriages, stillbirth, premature delivery as well as perinatal mortality. However, not much information is available about safety of taking the medicine during pregnancy and so doctor’s advice to follow the hygiene part well before prescribing the medicine. Doctors prescribe this medicine only after first trimester of pregnancy has crossed and that too, if very necessary.
According to the doctors, taking anthelmintic during pregnancy does not require any special monitoring of the infant when it is born. However, a single dose of 400mg and that too in second trimester is recommended. Also, there is no risk to the child if the father takes the medicine before or after the child is conceived. Normally, only gastrointestinal symptoms associated with headache and dizziness has been noticed as side effects of anthelmintic.
A pregnant woman should be continuously under the supervision of a doctor and any medicine taken should be only after being prescribed by the doctor. If you have any questions regarding this information, it is good to consult your healthcare provider. She can provide you more medical and scientific information with the experience and the updated data she has.
What are anthelmintics? Is it safe to take anthelmintics during pregnancy? What are the effects of taking anthelmintics during pregnancy? Discuss here.
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- The Indiaparenting Team