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To the Editor:—
In regard to the advice of Dr. Carroll L. Birch about the treatment of tapeworms, in The Journal, Jan. 14, page 174, you might like to note this fact: Many years ago, when I practiced in Mexico, I saw many patients with tapeworms and I rarely was able to get the head. Eventually, I met a tapeworm quack, who practically always got the head, and I asked him what his secret was. He said the secret is never to give a purge the day before the treatment. I tried this, and it worked well. After that I often used to get the head of the worm.Anyone with any knowledge of physiology of the small bowel knows that it is empty after a few hours; hence, there is no reason that I can imagine why one should give the purge the night before. What I do know
Alvarez WC. Treatment of Tapeworm. JAMA. 1961;176(2):169. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040150085029