What are the uses for albendazole?
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).
What brand names are available for albendazole?
Is albendazole available as a generic drug?
No (beware of fraudulent suppliers)
Do I need a prescription for albendazole?
What are the side effects of albendazole?
Side effects which occurred with a frequency of = 1% include:
- liver problems,
- stomach pain,
- increased intracranial pressure,
- meningeal signs,
- reversible hair loss or thinning, and
Side effects which occurred with a frequency of <1% include:
- blood disorders (decrease in red blood cells and platelets),
- allergic reactions,
- rash, and
Other side effects of undefined frequency include:
- aplastic anemia,
- bone marrow suppression,
- decrease in white blood count,
- acute liver failure,
- hepatitis, increase in liver enzymes,
- severe skin rashes such as Steven-Johnson's syndrome, and
- acute kidney failure.
What is the dosage for albendazole?
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.
Which drugs or supplements interact with albendazole?
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.
Is albendazole safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
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.
It is not known if albendazole is excreted in human milk. Due to the lack of safety data, albendazole should be used cautiously during breastfeeding.
What else should I know about albendazole?
What preparations of albendazole are available?
Tablets: 200 mg
How should I keep albendazole stored?
Tablets should be stored at room temperature between 20 C to 25 C (68 F to 77 F).
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Albendazole (Albenza) is a prescription drug used to treat a variety of parasitic worms from the body. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy safety should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Related Disease Conditions
Pinworms in Children and Adults
Pinworm infection is an intestinal infection caused by a pinworm, seatworm, or threadworm. Female pinworms leave the intestine through the ankus and deposit eggs on the skin around the anus while a person is asleep. Pinworm infection is the most common worm infection in the U.S. Symptoms include anal itching or vaginal itching. Pinworm infection is generally spread by inadequate handwashing from infected persons. Treatment is effective after a diagnosis is made with a pinworm test.
A parasite names Ascaris lumbricoides causes ascariasis. Symptoms and signs include abdominal pain, abdominal swelling, nausea, vomiting, fever, and passage of parasites and eggs in the stool. Treatment involves taking oral medications for one to three days.
Trichinosis Worm Infection
Trichinosis is a food-borne disease caused by ingesting parasites (roundworms) in undercooked pork or wild-game meat. Symptoms of trichinosis include diarrhea, nausea, muscle aches, itching, fever, chills, and joint pains.Trichinosis usually resolves without treatment, but more severe cases are treated with thiabendazole (Mintezol), albendazole (Abenza), or mebendazole (Vermox).
What Is Microsporidiosis?
Microsporidiosis is an infection caused by the microsporidia parasite. The disease is uncommon in people with normal immune systems. Symptoms in people with immune deficiency include diarrhea, malabsorption, gallbladder disease, cough, labored breathing, urinary tract infection, bowel perforation and keratoconjunctivitis. Microsporidiosis treatment depends on the site of infection and the species of microsporidia involved.
Cysticercosis (Pork Tapeworm Infection)
Cysticercosis is an infection caused by Taenia solium, the pork tapeworm. Symptoms include seizures, lethargy, nausea and vomiting, headache, vision changes, weakness, and confusion. Treatment depends upon the individual's symptoms and the stage of the infection. Treatment may incorporate anthelmintics, corticosteroids, anticonvulsants, and/or surgery.
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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
FDA Prescribing Information.