Treatment

All patients with symptomatic giardiasis should be treated. Several effective treatment alternatives exist. Most patients respond to a single course of treatment but in refractory cases multiple or combination courses are required. Metronidazol given for five days or a single dose of tinidazol are the treatments of choice. Furazolidone for 7-10 days is commonly used

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for children in many parts of the world. Other drugs such as mepacrin, paromomycin, and albendazol will equally be recommended against giardiasis.

Many patients develop a post-Giardia lactose intolerance and present persistent intestinal symptoms but actually have a disaccharidase deficiency (Mclntyre et al. 1986) and usually improve with time and lactose-free diet. The need for treatment of asymptomatic carriers is currently being discussed. Treatment is indicated if reinfection is unlikely. Different opinions prevail about treating asymptomatic individuals when faecal-oral spread cannot be prevented and rapid reinfection may occur, as in day-care centres.

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