Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Tapeworm Overview

What is a tapeworm?
A person with a tapeworm infection has flat worms growing inside the intestines. Types of tapeworms include the beef tapeworm, the pork tapeworm, and the fish tapeworm. Tapeworms spread to humans when a person human eats undercooked meat from the infected animal. Tapeworm infections are uncommon in the US.

What are the symptoms of tapeworm?
The symptoms of tapeworm vary with the extent of the infection, as well as the type of the tapeworm. The most common symptoms of a tapeworm include diarrhea and abdominal pain. Additional symptoms of tapeworm may include worms in the stool, eggs in the stool, fever, fatigue, muscle aches, increased appetite, pale skin, and weight loss.

How does the doctor treat tapeworm?
The treatment for tapeworm infections includes antiparasitic medications, which kill the adult worms in the intestine.

Continue to Tapeworm Incidence

Last Updated: Feb 11, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Tapeworm References
  1. Flisser A, Vazquez-Mendoza A, Martinez-Ocana J, Gomez-Colin E, Leyva RS, Medina-Santillan R. Short report: evaluation of a self-detection tool for tapeworm carriers for use in public health. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2005 May;72(5):510-2. [15891122]
  2. Garcia HH, Del Brutto OH, Nash TE, White AC Jr, Tsang VC, Gilman RH. New concepts in the diagnosis and management of neurocysticercosis (Taenia solium). Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2005 Jan;72(1):3-9. [15728858]
  3. Garcia HH, Gonzalez AE, Gilman RH; Cysticerosis Working Group in Peru. Diagnosis, treatment and control of Taenia solium cysticercosis. Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2003 Oct;16(5):411-9. [14501993]
  4. Salinas R, Prasad K. Drugs for treating neurocysticercosis (tapeworm infection of the brain). Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2000;(2):CD000215. [10796510]
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