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What are Tapeworm Pills?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 17, 2024
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Tapeworm pills are one form of medication that is used to treat the problem of tapeworms in pets as well as humans. As with all types of tapeworm medicine, the purpose of the pills is to kill the tapeworms and flush them from the system. Because of the ingredients contained in various brands of medicine used to treat tapeworms, it is important for the pills to be taken on a schedule and not exceed the recommended dosage.

Part of the tapeworm removal process initiated by the tapeworm pills is killing the eggs of tapeworms found within the system. Along with helping to flush the adult tapeworms from the body, the pills also aid in moving the eggs through the digestive tract and eliminating them along with other bodily wastes. Depending on the severity of the infestation, short-term treatment may be sufficient. At other times, it may be necessary to take the medication over an extended period of time.

The use of pills as the tapeworm treatment of choice is not without some side effects. This is especially true of humans who are treated for tapeworms. The pills may cause some degree of pain in the abdomen, somewhat similar to that of a developing stomach ulcer. Along with the abdominal pain, some people report recurring issues with diarrhea while on the medication.

There is also the possibility of experiencing some amount of weight loss when taking tapeworm pills. This has led to the use of the pills as a means of losing excess weight. However, physicians tend to discourage the use of tapeworm medication for this purpose, as the usage could create problems with the digestive tract over time. Tapeworm pills should only be taken when a patient is diagnosed with tapeworms, and then only under the close scrutiny of a qualified physician.

With pets, tapeworm pills are often administered as a matter of routine, especially if the pet spends a lot of time outside or with other pets in the neighborhood. Often, the pills are given as a preventive measure when the animal is considered at a higher risk for tapeworms. A veterinarian can determine the amount and frequency of the dosage, based on breed, general health, and other factors.

In general, tapeworming as a preventive measure can be done every few months or at least twice each year, based on the recommendations of a veterinarian. With many brands of tapeworm pills, the process usually involves the administration of one pill to kill the adults and a second pill ten days to two weeks later in order to kill the eggs. However, if a veterinarian believes the pet would benefit from more frequent dosages, he or she will provide specific instructions as to when and how to administer each dose in the series.

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Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum , Writer
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGEEK, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

Discussion Comments

By Ocelot60 — On May 23, 2014
It is easy to give a pet tapeworm medication when you put the pills in something tasty. Wrap it in a piece of cheese or hide it in some meat to make sure that your dog or cat takes all of the pills.
By Talentryto — On May 22, 2014

Always check with your veterinarian before giving your dog or cat tape worm pills. I don't agree with the part of this article that says these pills are often given as routine. Since they have side effects and can be harsh on a pet's stomach, there is no real reason for giving this medication unless tapeworm larvae are actually present.

If you do have to treat your dog or cat with tape worm medication, always make sure you give this drug exactly as it is prescribed by your veterinarian. If you give your pet too much, it may make him or her sick. If you give your pet a dose that is too low, you may not rid his or her system of the tapeworms.

Malcolm Tatum

Malcolm Tatum


Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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