What is Vermox?
Vermox (Mebendazole) is an anthelmintic or anti-worm medication. It prevents the growth and multiplication of newly hatched insect larvae in your body. Vermox treats infections caused by works such as pinworm, whipworm, hookworm, and roundworm. This medicine is also used to treat infections caused by more than one of these worms at the same time.
Vermox is a brand name of the generic medicine Mebendazole. Each tablet of Vermox contains 100 mg of Mebendazole, its active ingredient.
Vermox is prescribed for treatment of the following types of worm infections in the gut:
- Roundworm infections or ascariasis
- Threadworm infections or enterobiasis
- Whipworm infections or trichuriasis
- Hookworm infections
Vermox is used to treat these infections in adults and in children over two years of age. This medicine comes in tablet form or suspension.
How does Vermox work?
Vermox contains the active ingredient mebendazole, an anthelmintic medicine. It works by preventing worms from absorbing sugars that they need in order to survive. This results in the depletion of the energy stores of the worms, leading to their eventual death within a few days. The dead worms will be excreted from the guts in the stools.
The medication can kill the adult worms but not their eggs. It is necessary to practice good hygiene after Vermox treatment. You should avoid swallowing eggs, which will cause a new infection.
You should take the following measures to avoid swallowing eggs of worms:
- Wash your hands and scrub under the nails after going to the toilet, and before preparing or eating food.
- Wear underwear or pyjamas in bed.
- Keep fingernails short and clean. Avoid biting your nails or sucking your fingers.
- Bath or shower in the morning instead of doing it before bed. This will wash any eggs that were laid in the anus area overnight.
What are the benefits of taking Vermox?
Vermox is effective in controlling infections caused by worms. It effectively prevents the worms from absorbing sugar, leading to their eventual death.
The use of Vermox should be accompanied by practising good hygiene because the medicine can kill adult worms but not their eggs. Practising good hygiene will prevent the swallowing of worm eggs, which will eventually grow within the body and cause an infection.
How do I use Vermox?
Vermox tablets or suspension may be taken with food or without food. The tablet may be swallowed whole or may be chewed. When the tablet is given to young children, it should be crushed.
Vermox suspension should be shaken well before taking a dose.
For the treatment of threadworm, not only the person who has the infection should take Vermox. The whole family should take Vermox because threadworms easily spread. The whole family should take the medicine at the same time even if they do not have symptoms.
If symptoms do not disappear or improve within a few days of taking the medicine, you should consult your doctor.
People who are allergic or intolerant to any of the ingredients of Vermox should not take the medications. Check first the ingredients of the medicine listed in the leaflet that comes with Vermox to find out if there is something there that you may be allergic to.
For the treatment of pinworm infections, Vermox is usually given as a single dose. If needed, a second treatment may be given in a few weeks. For other types of common worm infections, Vermox should be taken by mouth for 3 days, usually twice a day in the morning and in the evening, or as directed by your doctor. If necessary, a second treatment may be given in a few weeks.
For other types of worm infection, take the medication as directed by your doctor. In some cases, your doctor may order you to take Vermox more than twice a day and for longer than 3 days.
Take Vermox as prescribed by your doctor. Do not skip any dose. Continue taking the medication until the full course of treatment is completed. Stopping the medication too early may result in the return of the infection.
Side effects and precautions
Every medicine has the potential to cause some unwanted side effects although the medicine affects people in different ways. The following are the side effects that are associated with Vermox:
Common side effect:
- Stomach pain
Uncommon side effects:
- Stomach discomfort
Rare side effects:
- Decrease in the number of white blood cells
- Abnormal results in liver function tests
- Inflammation of the liver
- Hair loss
- Severe allergic reactions such as shortness of breath, swelling of face and throat, hives, and wheezing
- Severe allergic blistering skin reactions that affect the tissues of the eyes, mouth, throat, and genitals
In the event of a severe allergic reaction, immediately call emergency medical service. A severe allergic reaction could be life-threatening.
The safety of this medicine for use during pregnancy has not been established. The manufacturer of the medicine suggests that the medicine should not be taken by women who are pregnant or who think that they could be pregnant. Consult first with your doctor before taking Vermox during pregnancy.
If your doctor will prescribe Vermox during your pregnancy, it is because he has considered the benefits to outweigh the possible risks.
The recommendation is for pregnant women with threadworms practice good hygiene to eliminate the worms and the eggs. You can ask your doctor how to do this.
Inform your doctor that you are breastfeeding before you start taking Vermox. The medicine passes into the milk in very small amounts that will not likely harm the nursing infant. The manufacturer, however, recommends that breastfeeding should be avoided while taking Vermox.
It is all right to take Vermox with most other medicines. However, it is always advisable to inform your doctor about the other medications you are taking prior to starting the use of Vermox.
Avoid taking cimetidine with Vermox because it decreases the breakdown of mebendazole by the liver, which could increase the risk of side effects.