Dr. M.J. Bazos, MD.
Tapeworms are a parasite usually obtained by
eating undercooked meat or fish. It cannot be spread from individual to
individual. Usually it is acquired when traveling to a foreign country; it is
uncommon in the United States. It can be detected through a stool sample
examined in a laboratory.
With Your Diagnosis
individuals don’t have any symptoms. However, they should be checked for
tapeworms if they have recently traveled outside the United States and then have
the following symptoms and signs: diarrhea, pain in the upper abdomen,
unexplained weight loss, or
doctor will prescribe a drug to kill the parasite. One dose is usually all that
is required. A repeat stool specimen should be examined in 3–6 weeks to
make sure you are cured. There are no restrictions in activity or your diet. You
may have side effects from the medication such as headache, drowsiness, nausea,
vomiting, and loss of appetite. Stomach upset can be lessened by taking the
medication with food.
• Take the medication as
• Have a follow-up
examination in 3–6 weeks.
Have all family members checked for the
• Avoid undercooked meat
• Buy only meats that have
• Don’t skip
your follow-up examination.
Don’t eat undercooked meats or fish while traveling in a foreign
When to Call Your
• If you have any symptoms