Treatment for Giardiasis
While each person's giardiasis treatment plan will be slightly different, based on the individual situation, common options include medication, maintaining hydration, and sometimes treating people who have been in close contact with the infected individual. Medication cures the infection in about 80 percent of cases. For those whose symptoms do not improve with treatment, a doctor may recommend a different medication.
Treatment for giardiasis involves medicine, staying well hydrated, and possibly treating those in close contact with the infected person.
Several prescription medicines are available for giardiasis treatment (see Giardia Medication). These medicines cure Giardia infection in about 80 percent of people. If a person's symptoms do not improve with proper treatment, the doctor may recommend another medication or the same medicine for a longer period.
For someone with chronic giardiasis, treatment may kill the parasite (Giardia lamblia), but the person may have delayed improvement of symptoms. If a person does not get better after taking several different medicines, potential causes of reinfection (such as environmental sources) should be explored.
Keeping well hydrated is important when treating giardiasis. Drinking plenty of fluids is especially important for young children and pregnant women, who may be more susceptible to dehydration resulting from diarrhea.
Giardiasis treatment is not usually necessary when a child has no symptoms. However, there are a few exceptions:
- If your child does not have diarrhea but is experiencing nausea, fatigue, weight loss, or a poor appetite, you and your healthcare provider may wish to consider treating the condition.
- If your child attends a daycare center where an outbreak is continuing despite efforts to control it, screening and treating children who have no obvious symptoms may be a good idea.
- The same is true if several family members are ill, or if a family member is pregnant and therefore not able to take the most effective anti-Giardia medications.