Trichinosis usually isn't serious and often gets better on its own, usually within a few months. However, fatigue, mild pain, weakness and diarrhea may linger for months or even years. Symptomatic infections may respond to treatment with medication.
May. 24, 2012
- Anti-parasitic medication. Anti-parasitic (anti-helminthic) medication is the first line of treatment against trichinosis. If the trichinella parasite is discovered early, in the intestinal phase, albendazole (Albenza) or mebendazole can be effective in eliminating the intestinal worms and larvae. You may have mild gastrointestinal side effects during the course of treatment. If the disease is discovered after the larvae bury themselves in tissues, the benefit of anti-parasitic medications is less certain, but your doctor may prescribe anti-parasitic medication if you have central nervous system, cardiac or respiratory problems as a result of the invasion.
- Pain relievers. After muscle invasion, pain relievers may be given for muscle aches. Eventually, the larvae cysts in your muscles tend to calcify, resulting in destruction of the larvae and the end of muscle aches and fatigue.
- Corticosteroids. Some cases of trichinosis cause allergic reactions when the parasite enters muscle tissue or when dead or dying larvae release chemicals in your muscle tissue. Your doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid to control inflammation during larval migration.
- Parasitic roundworm diseases: Trichinosis. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/trichinosis/Pages/Default.aspx. Accessed Jan. 17, 2012.
- Trichinellosis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/trichinellosis/. Accessed Jan. 17, 2012.
- Weller PF, et al. Trichinellosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Jan. 17, 2012.
- Gottstein B, et al. Epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment and control of trichinellosis. Clinical Microbiology Reviews. 2009;22:127.
- Meat preparation: Fresh pork from farm to table. U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/Pork_From_Farm_to_Table/index.asp. Accessed May 3, 2012.