albendazole (Albenza)

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GENERIC NAME: albendazole


DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Albendazole (Albenza) is an oral broad-spectrum anthelmintic agent that is used to eradicate various parasitic worms from the body. Albendazole is effective in treating infections caused by a variety of parasites including Echinococcus granulosus (dog tapeworm), Taenia saginata (beef tapeworm), Taenia solium (pork tapeworm), Trichinella spiralis (pork worm), Trichuris trichiura (whipworm), Enterobius vermicularis (pinworm), Strongyloides stercoralis (threadworm), Ascaris lumbricoides (roundworm), Ancylostoma duodenale (hookworm), and Necator americanus (hookworm).

After oral administration the active metabolite, albendazole sulfoxide, prevents formation of microtubules in cells of parasitic worms and larvae. Microtubules are found in both the parasite and host cells and are necessary for survival. Microtubules have various functions such as cell division, organization of intracellular structure and intracellular transport. Albendazole selectively destroys microtubules of the parasites but not of the host. Destruction of the microtubules is irreversible and leads to a decrease in glucose uptake, depletion of glycogen stores, and accumulation of secretory substances inside the cell, and the subsequent immobilization and eventual death of the parasite. Albendazole was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in June 1996.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/21/2014

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