albendazole (Albenza) (cont.)

PRESCRIBED FOR: Albendazole is FDA approved for the treatment of the following parasitic infections:

  • Hydatid Disease: Albendazole is used for the treatment of cystic hydatid disease of the liver, lung, and peritoneum, caused by dog tapeworm (Echinococcus granulosus) larvae.
  • Neurocysticercosis: Albendazole is used to treat parenchymal neurocysticercosis due to active lesion caused by pork tapeworm (Taenia solium) larvae.
  • Off-label use: Albendazole is also effective in treating infections caused by other parasites including Taenia saginata (beef tapeworm), Trichinella spiralis (pork worm), Trichuris trichiura (whipworm), Enterobius vermicularis (pinworm), Strongyloides stercoralis (threadworm), Ascaris lumbricoides (roundworm), Ancylostoma duodenale (hookworm), and Necator americanus (hookworm).

DOSING: The dosing of albendazole depends on which parasitic infection is being treated. When treating young children, tablets may be crushed or chewed and swallowed with a drink of water. Patients are advised to take albendazole with food.

Hydatid disease: Patients are treated with albendazole for 28 days followed by a 14 day albendazole free interval, for a total of 3 cycles. Dosing is based on patient weight as follows:

  • = 60 kg: 400 mg twice daily with meals
  • < 60 kg: 15 mg/kg/day given in divided doses twice daily with meals (maximum total daily dose is 800 mg)

Neurocysticercosis: Treatment duration is 8 to 30 days. Patients are generally prescribed concurrent anticonvulsant (anti-seizure) and corticosteroid therapy during the first week. Dosing is based on patient weight as follows:

  • ≥ 60 kg: 400 mg twice daily with meals
  • < 60 kg: 15 mg/kg/day given in divided doses twice daily with meals (maximum total daily dose 800 mg)

Treatment of pediatric patients: doses vary; dose should be determined by a physician with experience treating children with this drug.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Grapefruit juice may increase in blood levels of albendazole when administered concurrently. Fosphenytoin (Cerebyx) and phenytoin (Dilantin) decrease levels of albendazole by increasing its breakdown.

PREGNANCY: There are no adequate clinical trials of albendazole administration during pregnancy. Albendazole should only be used during pregnancy if the potential benefit of treatment justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Albendazole has been classified FDA as pregnancy risk category C.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/21/2014


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