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What is the Best Way to Kill Parasites?

Mary McMahon
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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The best way to kill parasites is to use an antiparasitic drug which has been formulated to target the specific parasites involved in an infection. Many pharmacies keep a wide array of such drugs in stock, and for rare infections, people can order specialized drugs from pharmacies which specialize in such products, or directly from government agencies which dispense rare medications. People with limited funds for such drugs may be able to obtain them for free or at reduced cost through government programs and private aid organizations.

When someone suspects that he or she has a parasitic infection, it is important to see a doctor to confirm the presence of the infection and determine which type of parasite is involved. Even if people can see the parasites, as in the case of intestinal parasites passed in the stool, a lot of parasites can look similar, and people without experience may misidentify the parasites, which can complicate treatment. After evaluating a patient, a doctor can determine which organism is causing the infection, and prescribe the appropriate medication.

While generic antiparasitic medications are available, these drugs may not always kill parasites, especially if someone has a rare infection. The most effective drugs are available by prescription only, to ensure that they are used appropriately. After completing a course of medication to kill parasites, the patient may return to the doctor for a follow up to confirm that the parasites have been eliminated, especially if the patient had an infection such as malaria which is associated with drug-resistant organisms which may require a second course of treatment.

There are a number of folk cures which supposedly kill parasites, such as recommendations to eat specific foods, consume herbal preparations, or consume more exotic things like cups of oil or chewing tobacco. These treatments for parasites are not recommended, because at the least, they can be ineffective, allowing the infection to persist and potentially develop complications, and at their worst, they can be very dangerous.

For patients who are strongly opposed to using conventional antiparasitic drugs to kill parasites, a doctor should be consulted to determine which natural remedies would be most appropriate. A naturopathic physician, specialist in traditional Chinese medicine, or medical doctor who is friendly to alternative medical options can identify the parasites involved and recommend a course of treatment. Again, it is important to avoid treatment at home without consultation because misidentification could result in using the wrong treatment.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a The Health Board researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon300614 — On Oct 30, 2012

@anon200467: One of these Probiotics (Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacilus plantarum, Saccharomyces boulardii, and bifidobacteria, one to two times per day between meals) help keep your digestive tract healthy.

By amypollick — On Jul 27, 2011

@anon200467: Is there either a teaching hospital or a doctor specializing in travel or tropical medicine in your area? Often, doctors who specialize in travel/tropical medicine are more familiar with parasites and so forth, simply because people do pick them up when they travel, especially to places where the hygiene practices are not what they are used to.

A doctor in a big teaching hospital is more apt to have a wider field of experience, particularly the professors of parasitology.

I would check into one of these options to get treatment for that condition. Good luck.

By anon200467 — On Jul 27, 2011

I cannot imagine anyone deliberately infecting themselves with a parasite. I have had a rate skin parasite for five months and cannot eradicate it. Out of the five doctors I have consulted (or tried to), only two would actually see me, and neither one was a parasite specialist.

One lab technician even refused to test the parasite sample (he called it "debris" -- even though two other labs had positively identified it as unknown anthripod larvae!)

The two doctors who tried to treat me gave up after the meds they prescribed failed to cure the parasite. I am now left to my own devices.

If anyone can offer any advice or assistance, I would most welcome it. My health has deteriorated the past five months. I worry that these parasites will kill me before I can find someone to help me.

By irontoenail — On Jun 11, 2011

The problem is that most foods and herbs that kill parasites are probably going to be dangerous enough to harm the people who eat them as well.

There might be specific things that hurt specific parasites, but they are all so different you'd really need to know what you were doing to tell what you had and how best to kill it.

Anti-parasitic medications have been around for a while now and are a much better option.

By browncoat — On Jun 09, 2011

There have been a few people recently who have deliberately infected themselves with parasites so that they could lose weight.

This was apparently one way in which horse jockeys would lose weight a few decades ago, so that they could go faster than the other guys and win the race (and also so that they could continue to qualify to be jockeys, as I think you have to be under a certain size).

The idea is that after a while you take a parasite cleanse and get rid of them, before they can harm you.

This is a really bad idea, not only because it doesn't really work (parasites are more likely to wipe up vitamins than fat) but also because they could do long term damage.

If you are ever tempted by this "quick and easy fix" think again.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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