Piperazine (Oral)

As an anthelmintic, Piperazine is just one form of medicine used to treat worm infections, and in this case is most effective against roundworms and pinworms.

Overview

Piperazine is a drug used in the treatment of worm infections. More specifically, it is used to treat common roundworms (known as ascaris) and pinworms (enterobiasis or oxyuriasis). It works by first paralyzing the worms, and then allowing them to be passed in stools. It falls under the class of medicines known as anthelmintics, which are used to treat all kinds of worm infections.

You can not obtain Piperazine on its own, but will instead require a doctor's prescription. It has the potential to cause a wide range of different side effects and can interact with other drugs you currently take. Your doctor is best placed to decide whether this is indeed a suitable medicine for you and can offer guidance on how to properly use it.

Condition(s) treated

  • Worm infections

Type of medicine

  • Syrup

Side Effects

As well as helping you to pass worms, Piperazine does have the potential to cause a variety of different side effects. Some of these side effects are more severe, and you can find such a list directly below. If you do experience any of these side effects then you should inform your doctor immediately and seek medical attention.

Rare

  • Tingling or crawling feeling of the skin

As well as these more serious side effects, it could be that you experience some more minor ones, which don't require immediate attention. In fact, many side effects will simply pass as your treatment continues and your body adjusts to the medicine. Here is a list of those less worrying side effects. Do be aware, however, that if you do experience any of the following and are worried about them, then you can still contact your doctor for advice. They may be able to offer a way to reduce the effects by adjusting your dosage.

Less common

  • Muscle weakness

You may experience other side effects which are not mentioned here. If this is the case, and if they are worrying you, then you can still contact your doctor. Again, they may be able to offer a way to reduce the effects and make them more manageable.

Dosage

Below you can find the average dosages given to patients suffering from worm infections. Do be aware that the dosages listed below can vary greatly from your own prescription. This is because every patient is different so may require less or more medicine. Also, the dosage prescribed to you will depend on other factors such as other medical problems you have, and other drugs you are receiving. If you feel your dose may be wrong, and you would like it changed, you should first discuss this with your doctor.

When taking granules for oral dosage treating pinworms and roundworms:

  • Adults and teenagers. Take 3 grams three times for one day. This treatment may need to be repeated again in two weeks.

When using oral suspension treating roundworms and pinworms:

  • Adults and teenagers. Take 1.8 grams every 4 hours, this should be done 3 times in a one-day period. The same treatment may need to be repeated after two weeks.

When taking tablets to treat roundworms:

  • Adults and teenagers. Take 3.5 grams of piperazine hexahydrate each day for 2 consecutive days. The same treatment may need to be repeated after a week.

When taking tablets to treat pinworms:

  • Adults and children. The dose must be calculated by the prescribing doctor and is based on body weight. The typical dose is 65mg of piperazine hexahydrate per kg of body weight given each day for seven consecutive days. The same treatment may need to be repeated after a week.

It is important you do not miss any doses as this will greatly impact the effectiveness of the treatment. If, however, you do miss a dose, then you should take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for you to take the next scheduled dose, you should skip the missed dose and return to your normal schedule. It is important that you don't double dose at any time.

It should not be necessary for you to take on any other steps or special preparation before, during, or after taking Piperazine. This means no special dieting, enemas, taking other medicines, laxatives, or fasting.

You can take Piperazine either with or without food and on a full or empty stomach. This is as long as your doctor has not advised you otherwise. In which case, you should follow their guidance.

Here is some further advice for those taking Piperazine in the granules for oral solution form.

  • You should dissolve the packet's contents in 57 ml of milk, water, or fruit juice.

You should never take any more of this drug, or take it for longer than required. If you break the guidance of your doctor then you place yourself at an increased risk of certain side effects occurring.

In order to best clear up your infection, you should regularly take this medicine as spaced by your doctor. In order to fully clear it up, you may need to then undergo a second treatment of Piperazine. Yoru doctor will advise you if this is necessary.

If you are using Piperazine to clear up pinworms, then bear in mind the following. Pinworms can easily be passed from one member of a household to another. For this reason, everyone in the household should receive treatment at one time in order to prevent reinfection occurring. It can also prevent any initial infections occurring as well.

Interactions

When taking Piperazine, there is the potential for it to interact with other drugs you are currently taking. In most circumstances, these interactions are undesirable and your doctor will want to avoid them. For this reason, you should advise your doctor of all the different drugs you are currently taking. This includes prescription and nonprescription drugs, as well as any supplements or herbal vitamins. In order to avoid interactions, it may mean they reduce your dosages of one or both of the drugs, or simply prescribe a different drug altogether.

As well as drugs, Piperazine could also potentially interact with certain parts of your dietary intake. This includes what you eat, drink, and smoke. If Piperazine is likely to interact with one aspect of your daily diet, the doctor may need to limit your intake of certain things, such as alcohol or tobacco.

Finally, it is possible that Piperazine will interact with other medical problems you have. You should, therefore, make them aware of your full medical history. In particular, here are some medical problems which are known to interact negatively with Piperazine.

  • Kidney disease

Warnings

Before prescribing you with this medicine, your doctor will want to understand your full medical situation. As a part of this, they will likely need to know about any allergies you suffer from. This includes allergies to foods, animals, preservatives, dyes, and other drugs.

It is found that children may be particularly sensitive to many of the effects of Piperazine. In turn, this could increase the chance of unwanted side effects. To avoid this, you should carefully follow any guidance offered by the prescribing doctor.

As of writing, there is no age-specific guidance on using Piperazine in older patients. It is not clear as to whether it will have exactly the same effects on geriatric patients as it would in younger patients. Your doctor is best placed to advise on any increased risks and the necessary steps needed to avoid these risks.

After treatment, it is important that your doctor checks your progress. You should attend an appointment to see if any unwanted effects have occurred, or if the worms are still present. If so, you will need to carry out another course of treatment.

If your symptoms are still present after treatment, or if they are worse, then you should inform your doctor.

If you are taking Piperazine in order to treat pinworms, then you may find that they return after treatment. Following your treatment, you should wash and clean all pajamas and bedding in order to help prevent this occurring.

Storage

You should keep your medicine stored in a sealed container at room temperature, and safely away from children. It should be away from moisture, heat, and direct light. It should also never be allowed to freeze. Once you have finished with your treatment, or if you have any out of date medicine, you should dispose of any remaining Piperazine in a safe and sensible manner. For guidance on doing this, you should speak to your doctor.

Summary

If you suffer from either pinworms or roundworms, then Piperazine is prescribed as a means to help treat this problem. However, it is only available following a doctor's prescription, as it does have the potential to cause a range of unwanted side effects and interactions. It will also likely be prescribed to you with further advice and guidance on clearing up your infection. This may include steps such as having your whole household treated in one go and regularly cleaning any bedding.

You should follow all guidelines as offered by your doctor in order to clear up the condition as quickly as possible. Do be aware that you may require more than one course of treatment to fully remove any worms. If you are experiencing any of the side effects listed above, or have any other questions regarding the use of Piperazine, you should discuss them with your doctor.