Frequently asked questions about pinworm infection

The more you know about pinworm, the better you can spot the symptoms and protect yourself and your family against infection.

The most common symptom of pinworm infection is intense itching and scratching of the bottom

Pinworms—also known as seatworms and threadworms—are little parasites. Pinworms are small, thin, white worms that live in the intestine.

When someone has pinworms, it is also known as a pinworm infection.

In most cases, pinworm infections are not dangerous. The scratching can cause a skin infection.

In rare cases, pinworms can enter the female genital area. This may cause a urinary tract infection (UTI). UTIs can cause redness, swelling, and pain when urinating.

You cannot take a pill in advance to prevent getting a pinworm infection. Because the eggs are so small, a child can bring home the eggs unknowingly from school or a friend’s house. Once your family is treated for pinworm, you can take steps to avoid reinfection.

To help prevent reinfection follow these rules:

  • Wash hands and fingernails with soap often during the day, especially before eating and after using the toilet.
  • Wear tight underpants both day and night. Change them daily.
  • For several days after treatment, clean the bedroom floor by vacuuming or damp mopping. Avoid dry sweeping that may stir up dust.
  • After treatment, wash bed sheets and night clothes (don’t shake them).
  • Keep the toilet seats clean.
  • Sanitize surfaces around the house such as doorknobs, light switches, toys, etc.

The most common symptom of pinworm infection is intense itching and scratching of the bottom. This extreme itching is caused by sticky pinworm eggs around the anal area. At night, some people may feel the pinworms come out to lay their eggs. This can also cause intense itching. Others with pinworm may not even know they are infected.

People with pinworm infection may also sleep poorly, be irritable, and be restless. The intense itching and scratching of the bottom may lead to a bacterial infection. Less common signs of pinworm infection include stomachache and teeth grinding.

Scratching the anal area will cause pinworm eggs to stick to fingers. Without thoroughly washing one's hands, everything the infected person touches such as clothing, bed sheets, towels, and toilet seats can get pinworm eggs on it and spread to others. Not treating an infected person increases the risk of spreading the infection.

A pinworm infection can be detected 2 ways:

  • Using a flashlight, look for the worms around your child’s anus 2 to 3 hours after bedtime. Pinworms look like small pieces of white thread on the skin. Keep in mind, pinworms are not always visible.
  • Another way is the “tape test.” Touch the skin around the anus with clear tape to collect eggs first thing in the morning. Pinworm eggs can only be seen under a microscope, so put the tape in a sealed plastic bag and take it to your doctor. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with hot, soapy water after placing the tape in the plastic bag.

If you are uncomfortable doing these tests, call your doctor to set up an appointment.

If you see your child scratching his or her bottom, and he or she is restless at night, you should call your doctor. You do not have to confirm that your child has pinworm before calling your doctor.

Pinworm can be treated with EMVERM (mebendazole). You can only get EMVERM by seeing your doctor because EMVERM is only available by prescription. EMVERM is 95% effective against pinworm.

EMVERM comes in a chewable, kid-friendly tablet that can also be swallowed or crushed and mixed with food. Your doctor may prescribe EMVERM for everyone in the house, because others are likely to be infected.

The dose for adults and children aged 2 years and older is the same: one 100-mg tablet, taken once. Three weeks after the first dose, a second dose is recommended.

Once pinworm eggs are spread around the house, the eggs can live on surfaces for up to 3 weeks.

To make sure no one in your household is still contagious, your doctor will most likely give each person one dose of EMVERM and a second dose 3 weeks after the first dose.

However, new infectious pinworm eggs can always be brought back into your household unknowingly.

You will need to start the treatment again, sanitize household surfaces, and wash clothes and bed sheets.

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Summary of Important Safety Information about EMVERM (mebendazole) 100 mg chewable tablets

What is EMVERM?

EMVERM is a prescription medicine used to treat adults and children 2 years of age and older with intestinal worm infections caused by pinworm, whipworm, roundworm, or hookworm.

Who should not take EMVERM?

Do not take EMVERM if you are allergic to mebendazole or any of the ingredients in EMVERM. See the end of this leaflet for a complete list of ingredients in EMVERM.

Before you take EMVERM, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if EMVERM will harm your unborn baby.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. EMVERM can pass into your milk and may harm your baby. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby if you take EMVERM. Do not breastfeed while taking EMVERM.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the¬-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Using EMVERM with certain other medicines can change the way these medicines act, causing serious side effects.
Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show to your healthcare provider or pharmacist when you get a new medicine.

How should I take EMVERM?

  • Take EMVERM exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to take it.
  • Take EMVERM by mouth with or without food.
  • EMVERM tablet may be chewed, swallowed, or crushed and mixed with food.
  • If you take too much EMVERM, you might have symptoms that include stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

What should I avoid while taking EMVERM?

Do not take EMVERM with metronidazole (a medicine used to treat bacterial and protozoan infections) as serious skin reactions called Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) can happen.

What are the possible side effects of EMVERM?

EMVERM may cause serious side effects, including:

  • Low white blood cell count (neutropenia). Neutropenia can cause you to get other infections. Your healthcare provider will check your blood count regularly during your treatment with EMVERM. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have a fever or any signs of an infection while taking EMVERM.
  • Severe skin reactions (Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis). EMVERM may cause rare, but serious skin reactions when taken with metronidazole and other medicines that contain mebendazole. These severe allergic reactions may be life-threatening and need to be treated in a hospital. Call your healthcare provider right away or get emergency medical help if you have any allergic reactions or the following symptoms:
    • severe skin blisters
    • sores around the mouth, nose, eyes, vagina or penis (genitals)
    • peeling skin
    • swollen face, lips, mouth, tongue or throat
    • itchy rash (hives)

The most common side effects of EMVERM include:

  • loss of appetite (anorexia)
  • stomach pain
  • diarrhea
  • passing gas
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • rash

Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or does not go away.
These are not all the possible side effects of EMVERM.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

How should I store EMVERM?

  • Store at room temperature between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C).
  • Safely throw away medicine that is out of date or no longer needed.

Keep EMVERM and all medicines out of the reach of children.

General information about the safe and effective use of EMVERM.

Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Patient Information leaflet. Do not use EMVERM for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give EMVERM to other people, even if they have the same symptoms that you have. It may harm them. You can ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider for information about EMVERM that is written for health professionals.

What are the ingredients in EMVERM?

Active ingredient: mebendazole
Inactive ingredients: microcrystalline cellulose, corn starch, anhydrous lactose NF, sodium starch glycolate, magnesium stearate, stearic acid, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium saccharin, and FD&C Yellow #6.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088. To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS contact Impax Laboratories, Inc. at 1-877-994-6729 or 1-877-99-IMPAX.

Summary of Important Safety Information about EMVERM (mebendazole) 100 mg chewable tablets

What is EMVERM?

EMVERM is a prescription medicine used to treat adults and children 2 years of age and older with intestinal worm infections caused by pinworm, whipworm, roundworm, or hookworm.

Who should not take EMVERM?

Do not take EMVERM if you are allergic to mebendazole or any of the ingredients in EMVERM. See the end of this leaflet for a complete list of ingredients in EMVERM.

Before you take EMVERM, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if EMVERM will harm your unborn baby.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. EMVERM can pass into your milk and may harm your baby. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby if you take EMVERM. Do not breastfeed while taking EMVERM.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the¬-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Using EMVERM with certain other medicines can change the way these medicines act, causing serious side effects.
Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show to your healthcare provider or pharmacist when you get a new medicine.

How should I take EMVERM?

  • Take EMVERM exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to take it.
  • Take EMVERM by mouth with or without food.
  • EMVERM tablet may be chewed, swallowed, or crushed and mixed with food.
  • If you take too much EMVERM, you might have symptoms that include stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

What should I avoid while taking EMVERM?

Do not take EMVERM with metronidazole (a medicine used to treat bacterial and protozoan infections) as serious skin reactions called Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) can happen.

What are the possible side effects of EMVERM?

EMVERM may cause serious side effects, including:

  • Low white blood cell count (neutropenia). Neutropenia can cause you to get other infections. Your healthcare provider will check your blood count regularly during your treatment with EMVERM. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have a fever or any signs of an infection while taking EMVERM.
  • Severe skin reactions (Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis). EMVERM may cause rare, but serious skin reactions when taken with metronidazole and other medicines that contain mebendazole. These severe allergic reactions may be life-threatening and need to be treated in a hospital. Call your healthcare provider right away or get emergency medical help if you have any allergic reactions or the following symptoms:
    • severe skin blisters
    • sores around the mouth, nose, eyes, vagina or penis (genitals)
    • peeling skin
    • swollen face, lips, mouth, tongue or throat
    • itchy rash (hives)

The most common side effects of EMVERM include:

  • loss of appetite (anorexia)
  • stomach pain
  • diarrhea
  • passing gas
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • rash

Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or does not go away.
These are not all the possible side effects of EMVERM.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

How should I store EMVERM?

  • Store at room temperature between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C).
  • Safely throw away medicine that is out of date or no longer needed.

Keep EMVERM and all medicines out of the reach of children.

General information about the safe and effective use of EMVERM.

Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Patient Information leaflet. Do not use EMVERM for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give EMVERM to other people, even if they have the same symptoms that you have. It may harm them. You can ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider for information about EMVERM that is written for health professionals.

What are the ingredients in EMVERM?

Active ingredient: mebendazole
Inactive ingredients: microcrystalline cellulose, corn starch, anhydrous lactose NF, sodium starch glycolate, magnesium stearate, stearic acid, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium saccharin, and FD&C Yellow #6.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088. To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS contact Impax Laboratories, Inc. at 1-877-994-6729 or 1-877-99-IMPAX.