Anthelmintic

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anthelmintic

[¦an·thel¦min·tik]
(pharmacology)

Anthelmintic

 

(also vermifuge, helminthagogue), a preparation used to treat worm diseases, or helminthiases. The action of different anthelmintics varies. Some preparations, such as Heptylresorcine and Phenasal, damage the cuticle (integument) of helminths, while other preparations, such as santonin, ditrazin, piperazine, and naphtammone, alter the tone and mobility of parasites. Anthelmintics expel helminths from the patient’s body and are used when helminths infest the intestine and its communicating organs (liver, pancreas). Anthelmintics are also used to kill helminths.

Piperazine acts on the neuromuscular system of ascarids, which are subsequently excreted with feces. Phenasal destroys the integument of various tapeworms, including beef tapeworms, dwarf tapeworms, and broad tapeworms. They are then digested in the intestine and their residue is excreted. Chloxyl kills Siberian liver fluke in the liver and pancreas. The parasite is then eliminated into the intestine. Other anthelmintics, such as ditrazin and antimony preparations, destroy helminths, such as filiariae and schistosomes, in the blood, lymphatics, and tissues. Some antihelmintics, such as ditrazin and Chloxyl, are produced chemically. Others are obtained from plants, for example, from Artemisia cina or the extract of male fern.

REFERENCE

Krotov, A. I. Osnovy eksperimental’noi terapii gel’mintozov. Moscow, 1973.

N. N. PLOTNIKOV

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Antihelminthic therapy is clearly indicated if the patient has arachnoiditis, hydrocephalus, or radiographic evidence of noncalcified, nonenhancing cystic lesions of the brain parenchyma (Dumois et al.
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Zani LC, Favre TC, Pieri OS, Barbosa CS (2004) Impact of antihelminthic treatment on infection by Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura and hookworms in covas, a rural community of Pernanbuco, Brazil.
Because of the high morbidity and mortality of the antihelminthic medications albendazol (Albenza) and praziquantel (Biltricide), it is uncertain when therapies should be employed.