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info needed

CHRISTOPHER V. PLOWE cplowe at welchlink.welch.jhu.edu
Wed May 10 19:31:55 EST 1995

For goodness' sake, folks, please don't give or accept medical advice 
over the internet.  In much of the world medications are freely 
available, and taking the wrong medicine for a parasitic disease can be 
dangerous, sometimes fatal.  Bad advice could be lethal.

Praziquantel is not used to treat giardiasis, nor is albendazole.  Just 
because someone has reported something in the scientific literature 
doesn't mean it is safe or effective.  Giardiasis is effectively treated 
with metronidazole, tinidazole or quinacrine (atabrine or mepacrine in 
Europe).  For the correct dosages, see a physician who is knowledgeable 
about parasitic diseases.  For any drug, there are precautions and 
contraindications that must be considered, and self-medication is never 

Also, diagnosis of giardiasis or any disease requires a proper history, 
physical exam and laboratory tests.  Speculation based on a brief message 
is totally unreliable.

Sorry to be such a wet blanket, but you could do some serious harm with 
ignorant advice.

On Wed, 3 May 1995, Amy C. Siebert wrote:

> Giardia Intestinalis is the parasite you are most likely infected with -
> giardia is classified as an amoeba and a parasite. Parasitism is a general
> term for an organisms dependece upon a host for survival. Whereas amoeba
> is more specific because it refers to the cellular structure of giardia. 
> Giardia is commonly found in warm climates such as Guatemala.  Giardia is
> often contracted from drinking (contaminated) water out of a well, most
> often the water will be crystal clear - appearing pure and drinkable.
> Giardia causes diarrhea and malaise - a general feeling of sickness. The
> good news is giardia is treatable by drugs. I do believe praziquantel is
> used, that I am of unsure of, though. I do know that if you have worms, a
> tapeworm such as Taeniarhynchus saginatus(beef tapeworm) or Taenia
> solium(pork tapeworm) or even Enterobius vermicularis (pinworms) will be
> treated with an anti-helminth such as praziquantel.  Your doctor will have
> to check the cross-reactivity of the drugs that will treat both the worms
> and giardia. asiebert at bgsu.edu 
> In article <3nvd4t$icp at newsbf02.news.aol.com>, missandree at aol.com
> (MissAndree) wrote:
> > Sorry if this isn't the right place for this question, but frankly I have
> > asked a few people (including my doctor,) and haven't gotten straight
> > answers.
> > I recently came back from Guatemala (or should I say, *we* recently...)
> > with giardias, amoebas (cystic?) as well as worms. What I would like to
> > know is: are giardias amoebas, or an entirely different parasite? Do you
> > get all of these from water (which I tried to avoid,) or do you get them
> > from food, dirt, etc.
> > I would appreciate any help offered...
> > 
> > Thanks!
> > MissAndree

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