What is Ovex?
Ovex is a brand of medicine used to treat threadworms which contains the active ingredient Mebendazole. Mebendazole is an anthelmintic or anti-worm medication. Ovex tablets and suspension should only be taken orally.
Mebendazole is most commonly used to treat threadworms, however it is also sometimes used to treat other worm infections such as; whipworm, roundworm and hookworm.
What is Ovex used for?
Ovex can be bought over-the-counter without a prescription to effectively treat worm infections in the gut for those over the age of 2 years. For children under the age of 2 years who have suspected worm infections, they will need a prescription from their doctor before using Ovex.
What are threadworms?
Threadworms are tiny white parasitic worms that when swallowed live and lay eggs in the bowel.
Threadworms are most commonly found in children but someone of any age can catch them. It is predicted that around 40% of children under 10 years old in the UK are likely to be infected at one time.
Mature threadworms lay their eggs at night around the anal area, which causes the most common symptom of threadworms that is itching around the anus.
The scratching of the anus often leads to the transmission of threadworms as the eggs are then spread to the fingernails which can then be transferred onto household objects and then swallowed.
Threadworm eggs are very tiny and are very easily transferred onto clothes, food, objects and therefore it is advised that if one member of the family is suspected to have a threadworm infection, then the whole family receives treatment even if they do not currently have any symptoms. It can take 2-6 weeks for symptoms to appear after the eggs are ingested.
How does Ovex work?
Mebendazole is part of a group of medicines known as anthelmintic or anti-worm. Mebendazole works by preventing the worms from being able to absorb the sugars from your body, which they need to survive.
The worms rely on our bodies sugars for energy when the worms are therefore deprived of sugars they can no longer survive and will die. Within 3 days, the dead worms will normally be excreted in stools from the gut.
It is important to note that Ovex is only effective at killing the adult worms and not the eggs. It is therefore important to practice the following good hygiene tips during and after Ovex treatment (at least 6 weeks) to avoid swallowing threadworm eggs again and becoming reinfected.
- Keep nails short and avoid biting or sucking fingers
- Wear pyjamas to bed
- Wash around the bottom thoroughly each morning
- Each household member should use a separate towel
- Change clothes and bedding regularly
- Thoroughly wash hands and nails after using the toilet and before each meal
How long does Ovex take to work?
Ovex should start to work after just one dose and starts working straight away, however, the treatment can take up to 3 days to successfully kill the mature worms and for them to be excreted in your stool.
Ovex does not kill the threadworm eggs so it is important to practise good personal hygiene for at least 6 weeks after you commence treatment to avoid re-infection to yourself and also to avoid infecting others.
If you notice that yourself or someone else has become reinfected with threadworms it is important to speak to your doctor or pharmacist who may suggest taking another course of Ovex after 2 weeks.
How long does Ovex stay in your system?
Ovex starts to deprive the worms of sugars almost as soon as it is consumed but it can take up to 3 days for the mature dead worms to be excreted in the stool.
How long does it take for threadworms to die after taking Ovex?
Ovex will start to deprive the threadworms of the sugars they need to survive almost straight away after consumption. It can, however, take up to 3 days for the mature worms to die and to be excreted in the stool.