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Pinworms

Jonathan MacClements, MD, FAAFP Reviewed 06/2019
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

  • Intestinal infection with Enterobius vermicularis

    • Characterized by perineal and perianal itching

    • Usually worse at night

  • System(s) affected: gastrointestinal; skin/exocrine

  • Synonym(s): en...

DIAGNOSIS

HISTORY

Many patients are asymptomatic. Common symptoms include the following: 
  • Perianal or perineal itching

  • Vulvovaginitis

  • Dysuria

  • Abdominal pain (rare)

  • Insomnia (typically due to pruritus)

PHYSICAL EXAM

TREATMENT

MEDICATION

First Line

  • Treatment options include:

    • Albendazole (Albenza): 400 mg PO as a single dose in adults and children >20 kg; may repeat in 2 weeks; 200 mg PO as a single dose repeated i...

ONGOING CARE

FOLLOW-UP RECOMMENDATIONS

Unnecessary unless symptoms recur after initial therapy 

PATIENT EDUCATION

  • Take medicine with food.

  • Practice good hygiene: hand washing and perianal hygiene; particu...

REFERENCES

1
Stermer E, Sukhotnic I, Shaoul R. Pruritus ani: an approach to an itching condition. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr.  2009;48(5):513–516. [View Abstract on OvidMedline]
2
The Medical Lett...

SEE ALSO

Pruritus Ani 

CODES

ICD10

B80 Enterobiasis 

ICD9

127.4 Enterobiasis 

SNOMED

266162007 Enterobiasis (disorder) 

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • Nocturnal or early morning perianal itch with restless sleep or insomnia (particularly in children) is the hallmark of symptomatic pinworm infection.

  • Treatment includes mebendazole, alb...

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