Brought to you by Johnson & Johnson

2 girls playing with a dog - metaphor for deworming with vermox and intestinal worms

Brought to you by

Vermox deworming - Logo
Intestinal worms, also known as parasitic worms, are simple organisms that feed off the human body.1
Common types of intestinal worms include:2

  • Roundworms which include Ascaris roundworm, pinworm, whipworm, threadworm and hookworm infections.
  • Flatworms which include tapeworms and flukes.

Studies performed in different areas in South Africa found that primary school children are mostly affected by soil-transmitted parasites and have the highest infection rate, either with a single worm infestation or mixed infections (2 two types of worms).3-6
Adults are also affected but to a much lesser extent.4

Back to top

Intestinal worms differ from each other in terms of the following: Firstly, their life cycles. Secondly, transmission. And finally, the symptoms they cause after infestation.

Back to top

Roundworms are simple multicellular parasites with their own digestive system.

Back to top
Transmission (spread by):
Ingestion (by mouth) – through eating food or drinking water.
Specific symptoms:
Mild symptoms include stomach pain, nausea, weight loss and diarrhoea. Additionally, if these intestinal worms are present in the lungs, then fever, wheezing and coughing can occur.


roundworm intestinal worms life cycle illustraion


Back to top
Ingestion (by mouth) via food or water.
Specific symptoms:
Stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite. However, with a heavy infestation, bleeding from the intestines, severe abdominal cramps, anaemia, appendicitis and rectal prolapse may occur.


deworming whipworm intestinal worms with vermox - exmaple of a whipworm lifecycle

Back to top
Through the skin.
Specific symptoms:
Rash and itching at the site of entry.
Moreover, heavy infections can cause stomach pain, anaemia, weight loss, as well as poor growth and mental retardation in children.


hookworm intestinal worms typical lifecycle - to be treated with vermox

Back to top
Through the skin.
Specific symptoms:
Significantly, some people may not show any symptoms. Although, they can have itching and rashes on buttocks or waist area, abdominal pain, diarrhoea alternating with constipation, nausea, vomiting, coughing blood-stained mucus.


need for deworming threadoworm intestinal worms with typical lifecycle illustration

Back to top
Ingestion from the environment.
Specific symptoms:
Itching around the anus, irritability, restlessness, sleeplessness, weight loss and poor appetite, nail-biting and grinding of teeth. What is more, vaginal itching and irritation may occur in girls.


fighting a pinworm with vermox deworming

Back to top

These are simple parasites without any circulatory or respiratory system. They feed off the blood and tissue of it’s host (people or animals) to survive.2,6

Back to top
Specific symptoms:
Usually cause no or mild symptoms. Even so, they can cause a severe infection with stomach pain, diarrhoea and fever.
*Not all deworming medicines are indicated to treat trematodes/flukes.


flatworm life cycle

Back to top
Ingestion – meat.
Specific symptoms:
Can often have no symptoms. People may have stomach pain, diarrhoea, weight loss, weakness, and nausea.


tapeworm lifecycle - highlighting the need for deworming

Back to top

To prevent intestinal worms, strict hygiene practices are needed, as well as regular deworming.1,2
Hand washing:

  • Wash hands before and after using the toilet.
  • Wash hands before cooking or handling food, as well as before eating meals.

The spread of parasitic (worm) infections can occur directly or indirectly through objects contaminated with faeces. For instance food, water, fingers and fingernails. For this reason, handwashing is important to stop the spread of faecal-oral human-to-human transmission.10
Safe food practices:

  • Thoroughly cook all types of meat before consumption.
  • Similarly, never eat undercooked or raw meats.
  • Use separate cutting boards for meat and vegetables.
  • Thoroughly wash and peel fruit or vegetables.
  • Only use clean water.

Skin protection:

  • Avoid swimming in sources of unclean water.
  • Avoid walking barefoot in sandy areas where contamination with faecal matter is possible.

Back to top

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends annual deworming in areas where the prevalence of infections is 20 % or more and twice yearly deworming in areas where prevalence is over 50 %.
In South Africa, it is recommended that all members of the family get dewormed twice a year.


Portia has a 4-year-old daughter, Lebogang, who has been suffering from nausea and abdominal (stomach) cramps. Moreover, Lebogang is complaining of stomach pains and an itchy rash and additionaly, she also tends to scratch her waist and bum. Lebogang loves playing in the sandbox at school and has trouble with alternating constipation and diarrhoea. Furthermore, Thabo, her 10-year old son, has a rash on his waist and started scratching his buttocks.
Is it worms?
Threadworm infestation is likely due to the following reasons. Firslte, the children’s age. Secondly, the presence of a transmission medium (sandbox) at school. Thirdly, close contact between family members. Fourthly, stomach pain and cramps. Fifthly, bum itching and scratching. And lastly, the alternating diarrhoea and constipation.
Most importantly: always consult your pharmacist or doctor for a diagnosis and appropriate treatment options.
What can you do about it?
Your doctor or pharmacist may prescribe or dispense deworming treatment over-the-counter.


common sources of intestinal worms: meat, animals, mud

Back to top
Vermox ® is a type of over-the-counter deworming medicine that can be used for children over the age of 1 year and for adults. Vermox effectively treats most types of intestinal worms infestations. What is more, it is also available in different formulations for either 3-day treatments or single dose treatments.


tables showing different vermox treatment options


vermox 1 day and 3 day packaging


As per the Medicines and Related Substances Act, 1965, Section 22A(4) and (5), S1 and S2 product recommendations can only be made by a pharmacist, pharmacist intern or a pharmacist’s assistant acting under the personal supervision of a pharmacist.



For full prescribing information, refer to the package insert approved by the Medicines Regulatory Authority ZA-VE-2100004
For full prescribing information, please refer to the package insert approved by the Regulatory Authority. ® Trademark © Johnson & Johnson (Pty) Ltd 2021. ZA-IM-2100001.
Talk to us on sharecall 0860 410032 or email [email protected].


Always ask your pharmacist or doctor for appropriate treatment options for you and your family.


Johnson & Johnson Logo

For more health information

Click on the body area you want to know more about. Select a related health topic from the menu

Select a body area
Mental Health
Infant Health
HIV 11 – HIV and Opportunistic infections
HIV 11 – HIV and Opportunistic infections
Doctors were first alerted to the existence of AIDS when patients clinically presented with opportunistic ....
Acne (Pimples)
Acne (Pimples)
WHAT IS ACNE? Acne is a common skin condition that causes pimples on the face, neck, shoulders, chest and back.1a It can be emotionally stressful ....