Management and treatment for a parasitic infection depends on the type of parasite, once identified. Some require no treatment at all, being self-limited in immunocompetent individuals.
- Balantidium coli (balantidasis): volume and electrolyte replacement and antibiotics (tetracycline, metronidazole, or iodoquinol).
- Dientamoeba fragilis: Aggressive fluid and electrolyte replacement and an antibiotic such as albendezole or metronidazole.
- Giardia lamblia (giardiasis): Aggressive fluid and electrolyte replacement plus administration of an antimicrobial agent such as albendezole or metronidazole.
- Entamoeba histolytica (amebiasis): If asymptomatic, iodoquinol or paromomycin; if symptomatic, metronidazole or tinidazole, followed by administration of iodoquinol or paromomycin. Extraintestinal abscesses, if present, are drained and metronidazole or tinidazole is added.
- C. hominis or C. parvum (cryptosporidiosis): Since the diarrhea is self-limited (4 weeks), symptomatic treatment via fluids, nutritional support, and anti-spasmotic (anti-diarrheal) agents. For children or the immunosuppressed, nitazoxanide will shorten the duration of diarrhea.
Treatment for most helminth infections (pinworms, hookworms, trematodes, etc.) is via anthelmintic medications, such as praziquantel, niclosamide, or albendazole.
- Pinworms (ascariasis): A single dose of albendazole, mebendazole, or ivermectin.
- Hookworms (Ancylostoma or Necator): A single dose of albendazole or mebendazole, or one dose daily of pyrantel pamoate for 3 days.
- Flukes (trematodes): Three doses of praziquantel over 24 hours.