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Anthelmintics are drugs that expel parasitic worms (helminths) from the body, by either killing or stunning them. A traditional remedy of this type is often called a vermifuge or vermicide.



Examples of drugs used as anthelmintics include:

  • Albendazole - Effective against: threadworms, roundworms, whipworms, tapeworms, hookworms
  • Diethylcarbamazine - Effective against: Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi, Brugia timori, tropical pulmonary eosinophilia, loiasis
  • Mebendazole - Effective against: pinworms, roundworms and hookworms
  • Niclosamide - Effective against: tapeworms
  • Ivermectin - Effective against: most common intestinal worms (except tapeworms)
  • Suramin
  • Thiabendazole - Effective against: roundworms, hookworms
  • Pyrantel pamoate - Effective against: for most nematode infections
  • Levamisole
  • Praziquantel - Effective against: nematodes, some trematodes
  • Triclabendazole - Effective against: liver flukes
  • Octadepsipeptides - Eg: Emodepside. Effective against a variety of gastrointestinal helminths

Many members of the piperazine family are successful anthelmintics.

Natural anthelmintics include black walnut, wormwood (Artemisia absynthium), clove (Syzygium aromaticum), tansy tea (Tanacetum vulgare), Hagenia (Hagenia abyssinica), kalonji (Nigella sativa) seeds, and the male fern (Dryopteris filix-mas). In Brazilian folk medicine, Plumeria P. acutifolia or P. rubra is also an anthelmintic. [1] Please note that many natural vermifuges or anthelmintics are poisonous and, in improper dosages, dangerous to humans as well as parasites.

Anthelmintic Resistance

The ability of worms to survive treatments that are generally effective at the recommended dose rate.

It is considered a major threat to the current future control of worm parasites of small ruminants and horses.

Development of Resistance

Treatment eliminates worms whose genotype renders them susceptible -Worms that are resistant survive and pass on their "resistance" genes

Resistant worms accumulate and finally treatment failure occurs -Clinical definition= <95% reduction in Fecal Egg Count

What causes Resistance?

  1. Treatment at frequent intervals
    • >3 treatments per year
    • Many farms >6 Tx per year
  2. Treating all animals at same time
    • no refugia
  3. Treating and moving to clean pasture
    • no dilution
  4. Under dosing
    • worms with low-level resistance survive


  1. ^ Arnold, M.D., Harry L. (1968). Poisonous Plants of Hawaii. Tokyo, Japan: Charles E. Tuttle Co., 51. 
  • Department of the Army Headquarters (2004). U.S. Army Survival Manual Fm 21-76. Barns & Noble Inc. ISBN 0-7607-4988-4. 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Anthelmintic". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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