mebendazole, Vermox

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GENERIC NAME: mebendazole

BRAND NAMES: Vermox (Discontinued)

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Mebendazole is a member of the benzimidazole class of antiparasitic agents, which also includes thiabendazole, albendazole, and triclabendazole. Mebendazole, like other benzimidazoles, causes death of parasites by interfering with the function of tubulin, an important protein in parasites, and preventing glucose uptake. Mebendazole is active against tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, threadworms, pinworms, pork worms, and whipworms. The FDA approved mebendazole in June 1974.

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Chewable tablets: 100 mg

STORAGE: Mebendazole should be protected from light and stored at room temperature, between 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).

PRESCRIBED FOR: Mebendazole is the drug of choice in treatment of hookworms, roundworms, pinworms, whipworms, eosinophilic enterocolitis, filariasis, and capillariasis. It may also be used to treat tapeworms, giardiasis, and toxocariasis.

DOSING: Recommendations are based on the infecting organism being treated. Initial dosing for some hookworm, roundworm, tapeworm, and whipworm infections is 100 mg twice daily for 3 days. Initial dosing for pinworm infection is 100 mg as a single dose.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Mebendazole should not be used with metronidazole (Flagyl) due to the increased risk of rare but serious life-threatening skin conditions known as Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis. Carbamazepine (Tegretol, Tegretol SR, Equetro, Carbatrol) and phenytoin (Dilantin, Dilantin-125) may interfere with successful treatment with mebendazole by decreasing its blood levels. Cimetidine (Tagamet) may increase mebendazole levels and increase the risk of side effects from mebendazole.

PREGNANCY: Adverse outcomes in animal studies have been observed. Adverse outcomes in human pregnancy have not been seen, however the Centers for Disease Control recommends postponing pinworm therapy until the third trimester when possible.

NURSING MOTHERS: While excretion into breast milk is unlikely, caution should be used since data is not available on excretion of mebendazole into breast milk.

SIDE EFFECTS: Mebendazole may cause abdominal pain and diarrhea, which may be in response to the death of worms. Other side effects include dizziness, drowsiness, headache, vomiting, chills, itching, flushing, hiccups, ringing in the ears, low blood pressure, bloody urine, and a drop in number of blood cells.

REFERENCE: FDA Vermox Prescribing Information


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/15/2014



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