Anthelmintics are a group of medications used to treat intestinal and systemic parasitic worm infections, such as those caused by pinworms, tapeworms, and intestinal flukes.
The most commonly used anthelmintics include albendazole, thiabendazole, ivermectin, praziquantel, diethylcarbamazine, and pyrantel. These medications are taken orally.
Once administered, anthelmintics act in parasitic worms by disrupting metabolic pathways that are required for their normal functioning, ultimately killing the worm.
As far as side effects go, these are typically very few and limited to the duration of treatment. So, clients might experience headaches, drowsiness, dizziness, and weakness.
In addition, anthelmintics may often cause gastrointestinal disturbances, such as anorexia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and cramping. Finally, some clients may develop a skin rash or urticaria.
Now, anthelmintics are contraindicated during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Additional precautions should be taken in clients with severe diarrhea, malnourishment, and hepatic or renal disease.
Alright, when a pediatric client is diagnosed with a pinworm infection caused by Enterobius vermicularis, they can be prescribed an anthelmintic medication, like albendazole.
Before administering the medication, be sure to perform a focused assessment, including their current weight and a description of their symptoms, such as the presence of erythema or excoriation, itching in the perianal area, a report of restless sleep due to itching during the night, as well as irritability and loss of appetite.
Then, review their most recent laboratory test results, including CBC, renal and hepatic function tests. Lastly, review the results of the cellophane tape test confirming the presence of pinworm eggs.
Then, explain to the client and caregiver that pinworms are a common intestinal infection, especially in children, and assure them that albendazole is effective in treating the infection.