Are you concerned about parasites and amoebas? When we first moved, we were too. And since then we've been sick many times. But don't worry – it wasn't as bad as it sounds.
We have used a number of different concoctions – including some super strong anti-parasite meds. They were brutally strong; we were exhausted for a full week. And it felt like our mouth was lined with tin foil.
On the recommendation of our good friend, who is also a medical doctor, we regularly take some softer meds every six months – whether we are feeling sick or not.
Large Print Disclaimer
Before you go any further, you need to acknowledge this: I am not a doctor (not even close) and I don't really know what I am talking about. All I am sharing is my personal experience and some hearsay mixed with a bit of gossip. For real advice, go see a doctor.
Great, with that out of the way, lets proceed.
Here is the kind that we use every six months:
Pazidol 1/2 Tratamiento Antiparasitario Completo
- Vermilife 400mg / 1 pill (albendazol)
- Pazidol 1 g / 2 pills (secnidazol)
The Pazidol (Complete Anti-Parasite Treatment) comes in a package with three pills – each clearly noted. Each package costs $3.39.
- Day 1: Vermilife (400mg) is clearly noted by a large yellow arrow indicating to take it on the primer día (first day).
- Day 2: Pazidol (1g) is noted by the large orange arrow and the text: segundo día (second day). There are two pills.
We like this treatment because of how simple it is. The large arrows make it pretty hard to mess up. Oh – and it works too.
The package warnings (see image below) note not to take this if you are pregnant. You also can't drink alcohol while taking this. Children under 12 year of age need another type of medication – it came in liquid form for Drew.
Best to see a doctor about this.
Risks of Taking Them In the Wrong Order
Our doctor explained that if the medication is taken in the wrong order it can make things a lot worse. The amoeba medication won't kill parasites – but it does affect them. Apparently, there is a risk of driving them deeper into your organs, causing more damage and making them harder to treat.
Pazidol is available at most pharmacies in Ecuador. Some chains don't sell this brand and they will offer an alternative. We keep looking until we find this brand – because we are sure that there will be no mix-ups.
Symptoms of Amoebas
While images of parasitic worms bursting out of the skin on your arms is pretty exciting, the symptoms we have had were much less spectacular.
We've learned that drooling at night and trouble sleeping are common symptoms of having amoebas. As are a lack of energy and stomach/digestive problems. When we had parasites we had severe stomach problems and noticeable weight loss. Although the strong parasite medication was brutal, it did fix the problem.
When we were planning our move to Ecuador we took a full set of vaccinations. While these vaccinations don't address typical stomach bugs (aside from the typhoid vaccine) they do give peace of mind in other areas.