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IF YOU HAVE THREADWORMS - PLEASE READ!

This information came from my very knowledgeable and helpful G.P

He said, if you catch threadworms you NEVER get rid of them... all you can do is bring the population down through good hygiene habits such as the ones discussed on this forum and numerous websites; wear tight underwear at bedtime, wash 'down there' every morning, wash hands and nails after doing this and wash hands and nails before preparing and eating food. If you have them, you are not alone, apparently 50% of the UK population has them.

He believes that killing them is a bad idea (whether that's using natural herbs or medication). When you kill them, the females will die inside you, decompose and leave the eggs behind. With around 15,000 eggs per batch in a female - that's alot of eggs you're risking being left in your body. He told me that even if you 'up' the dose of Mebendazole for example, it will still not kill every single female.

The best treatment is to paralyze them and then expel them - there are some suitable herbal treatments that can be used to both paralyze them and expel them - as well as Piperazine Phosphate which can be bought over the counter.

Do NOT use enemas or put anything round your bottom to deter them (garlic/teatree oil/vaseline etc). If they are coming down to lay their eggs at night, you want them to lay the eggs on the OUTSIDE of your bottom, not the inside where they will hatch and migrate back up to your Small Intestine to breed again. At least on the outside, you can wash them away again in the morning.

When the eggs hatch in the bowel and then migrate back up to the Small Intestine this is called 'retro-infection'. Killing gravid females in the bowel, makes retro-infection much more likely as does forcing them to lay their load inside you. To some extent the females will lay inside the body anyway, leading to retro-infection... and it's this that makes them impossible to get rid of.

Urban Myths:

1.) That you need to clean your house every day for 2 weeks - this is simply not true, unless in a cool damp environment the eggs become infertile after 1-2 days.

2.) You have to freeze bedding or boil wash it - this is not true either; the mere movement of the washing machine will disseminate any active eggs. A general launder is all that's necessary. Eggs have been known to survive temperatures of -8 degrees so freezing will prove redundant and is completely unnecessary anyway.

3.) Threadworms become resistant to the Mebendazole - there is no evidence of this at all - the problem is that Mebendazole does you no favours by killing the females whilst they're in your body, thus leaving your bowels full of eggs. This can cause them to come back 'with vengeance' (often even if you do take a follow-up treatment).

4.) That enemas help or garlic/teatree/vaseline around the entry to the anus helps. - this may be a short term solution but you cannot stop a gravid (egg laden) female from laying her eggs. If you deter them from laying outside your bottom, they will lay the eggs inside your bottom where you can't wash them away. If they're coming down to lay their eggs you WANT them to lay the eggs outside so that you can wash them away in the morning.

5.) They are most active at night when you are in bed and warm - Not true. They are most active at night (either moving around, laying or hatching) not due to your inactivity or warmth - people working on nightshifts are as likely to get symptoms then as people tucked up in bed. It's thought they have some internal navigation for predicting nocturnal time.

Unpleasant Truths

1.) Once you have them, you have them for life, although you may not get any symptoms because the population numbers are so low - once you have them though, the aim is to keep population numbers low.

2.) That they can 'migrate' to the lungs, nasal passages and sinus cavities through inhalation. You can get them in eyes and ears and they can also be transferred in girls to the vagina and urethra. Unfortunately if this is the case, Piperazine Phosphate will only paralyze them, but not expel them; when the PP wears off, the worm will be active again. Mebendazole will kill them but this can be counter-productive in the bowel, as it is prone to retro-infection.

3.) Symptoms include an itchy bottom (because the females produce an irritant when laying their eggs) this irritant can feel like shooting pains in other parts of the body (the ones mentioned above). Other symptoms can include appetite loss, nausea, bloatedness, aerated stools - with the consistency of a kind of dessert mouse, and excretion of a thin see-through liquid (produced as the eggs are hatching just on the inside of your bottom) - often you can see very small moving white dots - these are very very freshly hatched eggs. Sometimes the female adults can be seen at night coming down to lay their eggs around the anus (this is usually the main symptom prior to treatment).

4.) If you take one Mebendazole tablet then you MUST follow up with a repeat treatment or else you are going to be completely infested. The best treatment is not to use Mebendazole at all (or anything else that might kill the females inside you) and use Piperazine Phosphate (or some other herb that paralyzes and expels them) instead.

5.) A side effect of using Piperazine Phosphate or similar-acting herbs is that laxatives can cause you to strain which can lead to hemorrhoids. If you get these you shouldn't use a hemorrhoid cream (such as Anusol etc) as this will act to deter the females from laying outside the body thus again creating retro-infection.

6.) Threadworm breeding is at its highest in the Winter months October- February. If you have an outbreak - this is the most likely time.

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  • Guest

    What absolute garbage most of this article is. I cannot believe any self-respecting GP would peddle such crap. If the medication cannot get rid of threadworms what is the point of having it on sale? Mebendazole will kill threadworms, but you will also need to be fastidiously clean. Piperazine is another option.

    You cannot see threadworms eggs on a stool sample around your bum etc. They are too small to see with the human eye. Where you get the white dots thing from I do not know.

    Threadworms do not lay eggs in your bowels. The gravid female goes to the anus at night to lay them. If they laid eggs in your bowels more would show up in stool samples. Any good G.P will tell you that stool samples are not good for detecting threadworm eggs. A tape test round the butt is best.

    There are a lot of people on here who are naturally worried about having threadworms. They should not be as they are harmless. You should think before you come on here and spout such rubbish.

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  • An_Acupuncturist

    I think what my G.P said makes perfect sense given that there are so many people on this forum finding getting rid of them such a problem. People are frantically cleaning to the point of getting OCD and they are still not getting rid of them despite the most astringent cleaning measures. Reinfection is in fact very rare as people invariably become extremely hygiene conscious when they know they've got them. Retroinfection within the body is the real reason why worms return.

    Threadworms are far from 'harmless', if you had repeated bouts of them then you'd know how much pain, discomfort and anxiety they can cause.

    It doesn't help when people like you are blase and say well it just takes treatment and being fastidiously clean - like 'D'oh' you don't think people are doing this already??? People who take Mebendazole as a treatment quite often find that the worms come back WORSE than before and it's worth taking the time and trouble to understand why that is. It's important that people realize for their own sanity that they don't need to run themselves ragged cleaning, it's not ingestion or inhalation of eggs around their home that's causing the worms to come back again and again (in a warm dry environment the eggs will be infertile in 1-2 days anyway). It's merely that the two methods we have at present for treating them are flawed and cannot break the cycle and get rid of worms completely.

    With regard to your statement that eggs are not normally found in the bowel - this is true. For diagnostic purposes before treatment, looking for eggs in the bowel would be absolutely pointless as most of the females with an uninterrupted cycle manage to go down to the anus and lay their eggs there. The reason why they migrate to this area to lay is because oxygen is needed to mature the eggs. A dose of Mebrendazole however, kills the gravid females in mid-migration (in other words, in the bowel on their way down to the anus to lay), their bodies disintegrate leaving the batches behind. When the bowel moves them down, the eggs hatch. Some will come out onto underwear and die (which can be seen as small white lines really rather than dots, in a thin watery discharge), the rest will migrate back up to the small intestine visa the bowel, to breed. The idea of the second dose of Mebendazole is to disrupt the cycle at this point and kill this next generation of worms before they reproduce. Given that for each female that was killed there will be around 15,000 eggs, there are alot more worms to kill the second time round than the first time and as the forum messages tell us, many people are finding that the second application of Mebendazole is just not working well enough to kill them all. But this is why a second treatment is so important (at least for the idea to work, even if it doesn't work in practicality!)

    For diagnostic purposes prior to treatment, looking for eggs would yield nothing as you say, but if you were to measure how many eggs there are in the bowel after taking the first Mebendazole tablet, you would find thousands!

    My present doctor is not the first G.P to have said that once you have them, they are impossible to completely get rid of. My doctor in Oxford where I lived 12 years ago said exactly the same thing. Both also advised using the Piperazine Phosphate powder which paralyzes and expels the worms rather than the Mebendazole which kills them leading to retro-infection.

    Again the meds are designed for getting numbers down, they get rid of the symptoms caused by large numbers and obvious signs of the worms themselves, but they won't get rid of all the worms. People should take heart though that it's possible to bring the population of the worms down to a 'negligible' and symptom-free level.

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  • An_Acupuncturist

    The paper by Cook (1994) 'Enterobius vermicularis infection' talks about how the eggs become infertile after 1-2 days and that although they CAN last for up to 2 weeks in the right environment, generally they don't. He also explains that these eggs have a hard shell which means they are impenetrable by disinfectants and bleach, and that washing machine movement alone disseminates eggs.

    Burkhart (2004) in 'Assessment of frequency, transmission, and genitourinary complications of enterobiasis', talks about retro-infection as having far greater implications for infestations than reinfection and how the cessation of reinfection alone is not enough to stop a cycle.

    He says that once contracted, naturally occurring events of retroinfection (natural death of a female in transit from bowel to egg-laying and the tendency for not all females to lay eggs outside the body) \&quot;assures that the cycle continues indefinitely\&quot;.

    The information and advice I gave came from two qualified doctors, neither of whom knew each other (so would have no collaborative reason to mislead). Any information from such reliable sources I'd have thought would be supportive and useful. I certainly wouldn't share or take advice from an unreliable source or unqualified person.

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  • wwww

    It is good to read the information. I know that one thing is for sure that the worms I have are not being killed by mebandazole or any other drug I have taken.

    I have scrubbed,cleaned,etc etc washed, ironed etc etc to the point that my whole lfie is taken over by it.

    I still have the wriggling sensation at night which normally keeps me awake to the point of desperation.

    It aslo feels like there are not many of them so should be fairly asymptomatic but sadly not.

    The worms seem to survive internally only and that for a lot of us is really depressing and if anyone has a good solution I would give my right arm for it !

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  • An_Acupuncturist

    Have you had the worms officially diagnosed?? I've just been diagnosed with roundworm, specifically, toxocariasis (usually found in dogs and cats). Although threadworm is supposedly a roundworm aswell it tends to stay in the bowel. Toxocariasis I'm finding out to my horror can enter your body by being ingested or burrowing through the skin, it then migrates around the body visa the blood stream, where it can go charging through all the vital organs causing inflammation and eventually creating cysts. Certainly mebendazole is having very little effect on it whatsoever (been taking 2 x 100mg per day for 3 days at a time every week) . I'm still in shock tbh

    I'm going to see a parasitologist at the University College London Hospital's Dept of Tropical Diseases. Though from what I've heard this little nasty is far from 'tropical'. Many people get this worm through their pets - through forgetting to give their pets a regular worming or owners never worming their animals at all. If you have ever had to wash dog or cat faeces off your shoes, you could well have had a bout of them - the thing is, generally they don't like living in humans, we're not as designed to their liking as dogs or cats, so they rarely cause a complete infestation ... according to my consultant many people have them chronically with relatively few symptoms, but it doesn't mean they're not doing damage..

    The eggs can live around the home for 2 years and once airborne are pretty impossible to eradicate, they circulate in the air then, when given the opportunity, they burrow into the skin. The only way to get rid of them is to treat yourself and clean your environment at the same time (but they are impentrable with bleach and are only killed with very high temperatures), it's quite mad and I'm wondering if some of the people on this site who are saying things like \&quot;I've had them for years\&quot; or \&quot;we can't get rid of them\&quot; and people claiming their infestations went when they moved house (which would make sense if the eggs stay live for so long) and others describing 'shooting pains' around the body aren't actually describing this type of worm (or another similar one - there are so many to choose from!).

    If you actually get to see a worm and it's longer than 13mm - it's not a threadworm! You need to get it checked out...

    and if you do think you have this worm, don't take piperazine phosphate because this only clears them from the bowel and if they sense that the bowel is unsafe, they will only migrate through it to other parts of the body anyway. Also these types of worms CAN be diagnosed with a faeces test because unlike the threadworm, they do lay eggs in the bowel (this was the test I had to take).

    God knows how I got them because I don't own a dog or cat!

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  • wwww

    Thanks for your reply.

    I am sure that I don't have roundworm as none of my symptons match up with that. The problem I have is that the majority of the worms have gone due to hygeine measures but for some reason I have some left that arenot responding to normal treatment. I can actually feel them wriggling around in my bottom at night particularly.

    I have tried everything and am really desperate.

    I hope you have a better time at the Tropical medicine centre than I did as I have had it diagnosed a while ago and couldn't prove it recently they just dismissed me as having a skin problem that itches. I don't have any problems with my skin and my itching is internal.I feel the worms are surviving internally only and do migrate to my front passage as well which is horrible.

    If anyone can help however unusual let me know PLEASE!!!!!!

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  • An_Acupuncturist

    Oh I'm so sorry to hear that, it sounds like you're having a rotten time of it.

    I also found 'proving' what I had difficult to do - the little blighters are very good at hiding and despite being so riddled I found it difficult to come up with an actual worm for diagnosis. They live in cycles so I think it's quite possible that sometimes there's no real evidence of them.

    I strongly recommend using pumpkin seeds to paralyze and expel them, this fundamentally is what the OTC medication Piperazine Phosphate does, only if you follow the instructions as directed on the box of the PP then you can only use this once a fortnight - and I found this just really wasn't enough, I too got the 'wriggling' sensations, even the day after using it.

    Pumpkin seeds are a safe option you can eat at any time, I found when I used these, they came out in droves... if you eat them by the handful, you should recognize the seeds when they come out because they have the worms attached to them! (sry bit yuk I know). If you get bored with eating pumpkin seeds (and eating alot can be very mouth numbing - you can kinda see how they would immobilize the worms) you can make a pumpkin seed infusion... just take some seeds and water and boil them up to simmering point in a saucepan, then sieve and drink hot or cold, they actually don't taste too bad, making frequent drinking possible.

    For diagnosis purposes (which I strongly recommend) get a classic blue lided faeces pot (complete with cute looking mini spade!) from your GP and collect any paralyzed ones you see. Take them straight to your doc and demand that they are sent off for analysis.

    I've heard that cloves are good for killing threadworm eggs, so you could throw a teaspoon of these into the infusion aswell - they taste foul but if you can stand it give it a go. Unfortunately, using the cloves in my case caused them to migrate (burrow out of the bowel) but if you have threadworms they will be contained in the bowel.

    As for the front, I've used an enema to rid them of this area before, again use a clove infusion because this actually kills them. I've heard that threadworms generally can't live past the cervix, but if you do feel they've gone further up, don't give up on making this known to your GP - with the evidence of the paralyzed ones too I don't see how he can disbelieve you.

    As for the Dept of Tropical Diseases - I was disappointed to learn the nearest appointment they can find for me is 7th May. That means I have a whole 2 months of just managing my symptoms including eggs in my ears which are becoming airborne and last night, pain around the gums on my left side and then the release of a gritty substance in my mouth which I can only assume were eggs - Ugh!

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  • wwww

    Thanks yet again for the ideas. I have tried pumpkin seeds in the past but not in bulk. I am so desperate I will try anything.

    I hope you get what you need at the Tropical medicine centre. As I said before the problem I had/have is proving that I have the worms.

    I would be interested to know how you fair at the hospital I was really hopeful that they would help but I hope they solve your problems.

    Best of luck

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  • wwww

    I am feeling pretty depressed about it as having read the information I think that I have retro infection. It seems the worms are reproducing and living internally. I have thrown everything at the problem and they seem to survive it. It is very frustrating as the doctors think I am making it up.

    I really wish there was something new on the market that I could take and would actually kill them.

    My life is ruled by this despite everything I have done it is still there. I will continue to look for a solution but it is embarrasing and keeps me awake and i feel terrible the same thing is happening to my children that I don't sleep and worry about it.

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  • Guest

    Dear Acupuncturist,

    THANK YOU so much for your lengthy and informative post.

    I've had threadworms for ten years (I'm 40) and have tried all the over the counter remedies dozens of times, had GPs look at me as if I am mad, had the Tropical Disease consultant basically tell me I was deluded.

    What your GP says, even though in some ways dispiriting, makes perfect sense and releases me from the burden of terrible guilt and shame that I was somehow failing to get rid of these creatures.

    Now I have full information I will be better equipped to keep the numbers down as effectively as possibly can without being exhausted and overwhelmed by constant laundering.

    You, and your GP have done us all a great service.

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  • Guest

    [quote:4654ac6822=\"dempsea28 \"]What absolute garbage most of this article is. I cannot believe any self-respecting GP would peddle such crap. If the medication cannot get rid of threadworms what is the point of having it on sale? Mebendazole will kill threadworms, but you will also need to be fastidiously clean. Piperazine is another option.

    You cannot see threadworms eggs on a stool sample around your bum etc. They are too small to see with the human eye. Where you get the white dots thing from I do not know.

    Threadworms do not lay eggs in your bowels. The gravid female goes to the anus at night to lay them. If they laid eggs in your bowels more would show up in stool samples. Any good G.P will tell you that stool samples are not good for detecting threadworm eggs. A tape test round the butt is best.

    There are a lot of people on here who are naturally worried about having threadworms. They should not be as they are harmless. You should think before you come on here and spout such rubbish.[/quote:4654ac6822] Yes all above is true, they can be gotten rid of and i totally agree with you. what a liar !! :? i mean whats the point :?

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  • Guest

    Thankyou so much for this post i have suffered recurrent attacks since childhood.

    It really makes sense, and is going to make a big difference to me now Ive read it.

    The pharmacuticals should be revising this medication!

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  • Guest

    [quote:47f84f8aae=\"An_Acupuncturist\"]Have you had the worms officially diagnosed?? I've just been diagnosed with roundworm, specifically, toxocariasis (usually found in dogs and cats). Although threadworm is supposedly a roundworm aswell it tends to stay in the bowel. Toxocariasis I'm finding out to my horror can enter your body by being ingested or burrowing through the skin, it then migrates around the body visa the blood stream, where it can go charging through all the vital organs causing inflammation and eventually creating cysts. Certainly mebendazole is having very little effect on it whatsoever (been taking 2 x 100mg per day for 3 days at a time every week) . I'm still in shock tbh

    I'm going to see a parasitologist at the University College London Hospital's Dept of Tropical Diseases. Though from what I've heard this little nasty is far from 'tropical'. Many people get this worm through their pets - through forgetting to give their pets a regular worming or owners never worming their animals at all. If you have ever had to wash dog or cat faeces off your shoes, you could well have had a bout of them - the thing is, generally they don't like living in humans, we're not as designed to their liking as dogs or cats, so they rarely cause a complete infestation ... according to my consultant many people have them chronically with relatively few symptoms, but it doesn't mean they're not doing damage..

    The eggs can live around the home for 2 years and once airborne are pretty impossible to eradicate, they circulate in the air then, when given the opportunity, they burrow into the skin. The only way to get rid of them is to treat yourself and clean your environment at the same time (but they are impentrable with bleach and are only killed with very high temperatures), it's quite mad and I'm wondering if some of the people on this site who are saying things like \&quot;I've had them for years\&quot; or \&quot;we can't get rid of them\&quot; and people claiming their infestations went when they moved house (which would make sense if the eggs stay live for so long) and others describing 'shooting pains' around the body aren't actually describing this type of worm (or another similar one - there are so many to choose from!).

    If you actually get to see a worm and it's longer than 13mm - it's not a threadworm! You need to get it checked out...

    and if you do think you have this worm, don't take piperazine phosphate because this only clears them from the bowel and if they sense that the bowel is unsafe, they will only migrate through it to other parts of the body anyway. Also these types of worms CAN be diagnosed with a faeces test because unlike the threadworm, they do lay eggs in the bowel (this was the test I had to take).

    God knows how I got them because I don't own a dog or cat![/quote:47f84f8aae] This is where you have got it wrong, threadworm and roundworm are not the same thing so this is why your post is so wrong, google it !! they will go becasue mine went when i took ovex 1st time so dont worry, if you have roundworm i suggest you research that. its a long worm the grows inside you and eats your organs you have to get it removed asap.

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  • henbane

    Very pleased to have found this forum as I thought i was the only person to suffer with threadworms. Although it is a relief to know others have the same re-occurring problem it isnt good to know others suffer too. Its crap and sometimes i dread going to bed if i have had to deal with the problem in and out of bed on a night

    Have learnt quite abit from reading the postings.

    Have had to deal with TWs for over 30yrs. Even when they arnt wriggling around and being irritating i think i still have them and I have suspected for quite afew yrs that i never get rid of them. I get a certain sensation of a pain in my gut area when they going to get active. All I can do is learn to live with them which is horrible but i dont want to get OTT obsessive about trying to get shot of them because after all these yrs of having them on and off it just aint going to happen.

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  • Guest

    I had to cut short my last posting cos i thought my family would see it.

    The postings from the Acupuncturist person are very enlightning.

    On the 21st Oct i took vermox which is the chemical that is supposed to kill the worms, i didnt take a follow up dose because i thought one pill would be enough - how wrong i was....... 5 wks later near the end of Nov the wriggling started again and has continued every night since, im dealing with it the best i can and doing all the hygiene stuff too. After reading on here about the life cycle i have a script for Pripsen - the paralysing chemical and im going to take another dose after 7 days and another in 7 days after that so 3 doses and hopefully the numbers will be diminished cos the TWs are doing my nut in on a night, they have come back with a vengenance which tallies with what has been said about the females dying inside and being re-infected with all the eggs hatching.

    I have had lots of bloating and pains etc in guts plus loss of sleep.

    Yesterday i started taking roasted pumpkin seeds, dessicated coconut, Cina homoeopathic rem, papaya pills, raw garlic chopped in salad buttie and a tincture containing black walnut, wormwood and cloves ....i also have grapefruit seed extract which i may tackle - tastes disgusting but i'll try anything to keep these damn critters out my life (and guts)

    Ive never had them in my eyes or nose etc - blimey, dont think i could cope with that but i guess if it happens you have too.

    I'll let you know how i get on.

    So pleased to have found this because it does help to know you arnt alone.

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  • Guest

    [quote:b05077d204]For diagnostic purposes prior to treatment, looking for eggs would yield nothing as you say, but if you were to measure how many eggs there are in the bowel after taking the first Mebendazole tablet, you would find thousands!

    My present doctor is not the first G.P to have said that once you have them, they are impossible to completely get rid of. My doctor in Oxford where I lived 12 years ago said exactly the same thing. Both also advised using the Piperazine Phosphate powder which paralyzes and expels the worms rather than the Mebendazole which kills them leading to retro-infection. [/quote:b05077d204]

    is this really true? that if you take mebendazole when it kills the female worms, more egg spreads???? this makes me reluctant in taking a dose of mebendazole.

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  • Guest

    Also you can just eradicate the new offspring from the eggs by taking another mebendazole tablet after two weeks from when you took the first round of the tablet right?

    If so then just keep repeating the process until everything's gone? Was wondering if anyone experienced taking mebendazole tablets more than twice actually........

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  • Guest

    I know the acupuncturist is trying to be helpful but actually... if what u say is true do we really have to know all that...most of us believed that they go away after taking medicine and that certainly seems to work for many of us .... i am now very depressed after reading ur information and would have probably been better off not knowing!

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  • Guest

    I know what you mean as I have been looking for a solution for this for years with no result but I am still looking ! I can't believe there is nothing out there with all these people suffering.

    I would like to write to some drug companies and see if there is a new formula. Anyone got any ideas about who is the best person/company to write to ?

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  • wormfest

    If you take a dose of Meb on Day1, Day 10, Day 20, Day 30 and keep washing fastidiously, you should get on top of it. Hopefully... Has anyone else tried this already?

    My reasoning being:

    1. The Mebendazole does not kill the worms instantly on contact - they die slowly inside you as the Meb starves them of sugar, so they may take a day or two to die, giving them (potentially) enough time to lay a last few eggs

    2. The worms may disintegrate inside you & deposit their egg load inside you

    3. These newly deposited eggs in you would take 2 weeks to mature to egg-laying stage

    4. Eggs lying/floating around your home can survive up to 3 weeks (worst case)

    Surely taking a dose every 10 days would ensure no newly hatched eggs mature to the 2 week point at which they begin to lay. And that any original eggs wouldnt survive around your home past the 21day/3wk mark. So hopefully this would break the cycle.

    The problem is really that unless you live and work alone, you will have potentially spread the eggs in your workplace/school, and even if you clear yourself/family/home of eggs, they will be all over your workplace, many people wont even have symptoms, and even if you humiliate yourself by telling them all they may be spreading eggs, there will always be people who ignore you and other people who refuse to take medication. Fair enough - their choice, you cant make them.

    DOOM.

    All families of school age children should have to be wormed on the first day of all 3 major school holidays - might reduce numbers. Yes its a hygiene problem, but not in an embarrassing way - think about it, we are encouraging our young children to go to the loo independently, and they can't be expected to rid themselves of 100% of eggs whcih are invisible to the naked eye. It only takes one thoughtful, relatively clean child to have one egg remain on their hands then kindly share a pencil with their friend at school, and theres the spread. Mass worming is the only way! Controversy! *awaiting angry responses*....

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