Dientamoeba fragilis medication
What medication is available over the counter?
As the research community usually neglects the parasite Dientamoeba fragilis, because it had been considered as non-pathogenic until recently, there were very few published studies aiming to find proper medications against it. As such, there is to date almost no actual reported in vitro studies to assess the susceptibility of this parasite to the common known drugs to fight parasitic diseases. Furthermore, there is also no real reported randomised double blind placebo-controlled study, the usual research standard for drug efficacy assessment, in order to determine the real potential regarding Dientamoeba fragilis of the current drugs used against parasites. As such, there is currently no actual treatment indication to treat this parasite. However, some case studies have proven the relative efficacy of many antiparasitic drugs against it, as well as many known antibiotics, but they were performed on very small cohorts of infected people and then difficult to apply to the general population. As such, more large-scale studies are still needed in order to assess the real potential of these different medications against Dientamoeba fragilis.
In the absence of enough data regarding this parasite, one of the drugs of choice against Dientamoeba fragilis remains the orally administered iodoquinol (also called diiodohydroxyquinoline), which is usually used for the treatment of amoebiasis. This treatment could be very hard and long, as it usually involved taking pills at the same time three times a day over a period of twenty days, without missing some, as the concentration of drug in the body has to remain stable throughout the treatment period in order to ensure its efficacy. It is very important to take the treatment until the end even if you are feeling better in order to prevent the infection from coming back, as well as the occurrence of treatment-resistant parasites. The exact mode of action of this medication is still unknown, but gastrointestinal side effects are susceptible to occur while the parasites are dying. Other non-gastrointestinal side effects could be potentially dangerous and should be reported immediately to your healthcare professional. Other antibiotics with relative proven efficacy against parasites, such as paromomycin, tetracycline and metronidazole, could also be used to treat Dientamoeba fragilis. It is interesting to note that your doctor could prescribe you a combination of two medications in order to prevent the occurrence of treatment-resistant parasites.
It is interesting to note that if one person in a household is symptomatically infected with Dientamoeba fragilis, your healthcare provider should decide if it is better to test and eventually treat all the other member of the family. As the mode of transmission of this parasite is still unclear but potentially involves the fecal-oral route, asymptomatic family members could be a potential source of reinfection and the treatment of only one infected family member could then result in a failure.
There is currently no known medication available over the counter in order to treat Dientamoeba fragilis. However, if the experienced gastrointestinal symptoms are severe, there are some potentially interesting tricks in order to prevent the dehydration associated with too much diarrhea or vomiting. Dehydration is potentially life-threatening and occurs when the body loose too much water and minerals. Oral rehydration solution are available over-the-counter in every drugstore, but homemade preparation can also be used. The standard preparation consists in dissolving 6 teaspoons of sugar and half a teaspoon of salt in one liter of clean water that had been previously boiled for one minute and cooled down. It is important to put the right amount of sugar and salt into the mix, as too much of one of them could worsen the situation. Potassium level also has to be restored by eating food containing a lot of potassium, such as banana. However, it is important to understand that those rehydration tricks do not treat the parasite, which has the potential of causing a chronic disease, and you must consult a doctor if you think that you are infected with Dientamoeba fragilis in order to receive a proper treatment.
Finally, as the scientific community begins to understand the real pathogenic power of Dientamoeba fragilis, more studies are expected to understand this parasite and to assess the actual efficacy of the drugs currently used against it. Furthermore, better treatment options could also become available in the mist of these new scientific studies.