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Is Vermox Being Used To Treat Heart Conditions?

Aug 23, 2021
By
Cardiologist, Gracie Square Hospital

Is Vermox Being Used To Treat Heart Conditions?

A parasite and a heart condition walk into a bar – or in this case your body. This is not the beginning of a joke. But as strange as it might sound, there could be a correlation between medication used for worms and your heart.

People without health insurance can be taken advantage of in various ways.  We came across an article that showed a medication used for worms called Vermox was also used as a heart medication and as a result, the price was drastically inflated.

That was the case of a patient in Jacksonville, Florida. According to a local news outlet, the patient got a prescription from their physician for Enverm– Mebendazole, the same medication Vermox is made of.

The treatment should have cost about $10 USD and ended up costing $1,800 dollars. In this case the physician told the patient to look for the medication online, which he would not have done otherwise.

Whether or not you have health insurance or high deductibles: if you don’t have a trusted health professional to help guide you with these issues, you could be easily taken advantage of and pay much more for a medication than you should be. The doctors at Antidote Health provide quality healthcare while looking out for the cost to the patient.

How can Worm Medication be Used as Heart Medication?

Before we continue you should keep in mind that worm medication is not intended for use as heart medication. A parasitic infection, however, might reveal itself through manifestations that are typically relatedto heart disease. This is why some might get confused and think that a druglike Vermox is being used to treat heart conditions.

That is not true. These are the key points you should know to understand why you might have heard about this misunderstanding:

·        In a paper published online by the NCBI[1],researchers warn that doctors should consider parasitical infections in their diagnoses of myocardial and pericardial disease

·        This is especially important in the US and other developed nations because many of the parasites that might cause heart complications are not as prevalent as they are in developing countries

·        Given the fact that international travel has increased so much, brings patients from developed countries into contact with parasites their doctors back home are not familiar with and thus tend to leave out of their differential diagnoses

Keeping Up With a Changing World

Our doctors here at Antidote.ai are familiar with this and other similar phenomena. We keep up with all the latest research and suggestions from leading associations to improve our diagnostic processes.

We also rely on the machine learning algorithms and the advanced technology at our reach to help us evaluate our patients. These parasitic diseases that some might miss because they were not common at all in the US, are now part of the variables we keep in mind when we see heart conditions.

What is Vermox?

In most cases a parasitic infection diagnosis requires further testing, so do not be surprised of our doctors ask you to get further testing. If a doctor determines that you have a parasite based on test results, Vermox is one of the prescription medications that is used to fight these infections.

Vermox is:

·        Mebendazole

·        It belongs to the family of drugs known as Anthelmintics

·        It is used to fight common round worms, hookworms, pinworms, and whipworms

·        The drug acts by preventing worms to absorb sugar, which kills them

Vermox does not kill the eggs that a parasite might leave inside your body. Therefore, it is important that you follow your doctor’s recommendations and see the treatment through even if you are already feeling better. You are likely to take the medication until the worms that hatch from the eggs are killed by glucose deprivation.

Vermox is not Heart Medication but Some Parasites can Affect your Heart!

Any way you look at it, you will see that Vermox is not designed to treat a heart condition or heart disease. It was crafted to kill worms. However, some parasites do end up causing heart problems, which is another reason why some might thing that worm medication is being used as heart medication.

Therefore, you should not be surprised if your doctor finds there is something wrong with your heart and decides to treat you with worm medication. Keep in mind that diseases like Chagas’ disease are in fact caused by parasitic infection that used to be extremely rare in the developed world.

Worm Treatments for Cancer?

The opposite can also happen. You might get a prescription for worm medicine to treat other diseases, like cancer in the case of Enverm. That is one of the factors that could drive up the price for anti-worm medication. Others are:

·        A lack of competition in the market

·        Other market conditions such as restrictions on imported medicine from other countries

Parasitic Infection Beyond the Digestive System

Most of the parasitic infections you might be familiar with have to do with the digestive system, but you should know that parasites can affect your heart and other organs. In some cases, parasitic infections can affect your neurological system as well.

So, keep an eye on the ball. If you have recently travelled to a destination where parasites are more abundant – generally to a tropical destination, or to an under-developed country – and you are experiencing weird symptoms, make sure you let your doctor know where you have been recently.

You might even be able to trace the origin of some of your symptoms to your trip, and this is crucial information that will help your doctor diagnose you. Parasitic infections that go beyond the digestive system are more common than you think outside of the US, so keep that in mind, but do not let the thought ruin your trip. Let that be our problem and enjoy your time abroad!

 

[1]Cardiac Involvement with Parasitic Infections, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2863361/,retrieved on May 27th, 2021.

https://www.news4jax.com/consumer/2017/02/14/pinworm-prescription-jumps-from-3-to-up-to-600-a-pill/

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