In some cases, giardiasis goes away on its own in about one month. Other people need antibiotics (e.g., metronidazole*, paromomycin) to shorten the duration of the infection and to kill the parasite.
Because the disease can spread quickly, your doctor may suggest that the whole family be treated at the same time. Your doctor may also suggest that you take your medication for a longer time or change your medication depending on the severity of your illness. It is very important that you let your doctor know if you are pregnant because some medications used to treat this condition can harm the fetus.
Finally, it is very important that you drink enough water and electrolyte-rich drinks (solutions containing sugar and salts) because your body will be losing water due to diarrhea. Signs of dehydration are extreme tiredness; dry skin, mouth, and tongue; sunken eyes; and very little production of urine or tears.
Children are at a higher risk of dehydration than adults due to their small body size, so parents or caregivers should watch for signs of dehydration and ensure that the child drinks plenty of rehydrating solution. Oral rehydration solutions, which are available at pharmacies as liquids or powder packets to mix with water, are an excellent way to keep a child hydrated. If you are mixing electrolyte powder with water, make sure the water is clean to avoid reinfection.
There are several effective ways to avoid getting or spreading this infection. Keep these tips in mind:
- Do not drink or brush your teeth and wash food or dishes with untreated water from streams, rivers, or lakes, even if they look sparkling clean. Make sure you boil water from these sources for 1 to 2 minutes (or 3 minutes if you are at a high altitude) before use.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after eating, preparing food, changing diapers, and using the toilet.
- Do not send a child who is infected and cannot control his or her bowel movements to daycare or school.
- Avoid swallowing water when swimming in public pools or lakes. Chlorine commonly used in swimming pools will not kill the cysts.
- Try to eat well-cooked hot foods and always peel raw vegetables and fruit.
*All medications have both common (generic) and brand names. The brand name is what a specific manufacturer calls the product (e.g., Tylenol®). The common name is the medical name for the medication (e.g., acetaminophen). A medication may have many brand names, but only one common name. This article lists medications by their common names. For information on a given medication, check our Drug Information database. For more information on brand names, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2017. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/condition/getcondition/Giardiasis