Pill Identifier App

albendazole

Pronunciation

Generic Name: albendazole (al BEN da zole)
Brand Name: Albenza

What is albendazole?

Albendazole is an anthelmintic (an-thel-MIN-tik) or anti-worm medication. It prevents newly hatched insect larvae (worms) from growing or multiplying in your body.

Albendazole is used to treat certain infections caused by worms such as pork tapeworm and dog tapeworm.

Albendazole may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about albendazole?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to albendazole, or to similar medications such as mebendazole (Vermox).

Before using albendazole, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have liver disease or have ever had abnormal liver function tests.

You should not use albendazole if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant during treatment. Use an effective form of birth control while you are using albendazole, and for at least 1 month after your treatment ends.

Slideshow: 2013 Drug News Round-Up: Top 20 Stories

Take albendazole with food to lessen stomach upset.

Take this medication for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms may get better before the infection is completely treated. Albendazole will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.

Albendazole can lower the blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. To be sure your blood cells do not get too low, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your liver function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking albendazole?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to albendazole, or to similar medications such as mebendazole (Vermox).

If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take this medication. Before using albendazole, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • liver disease; or

  • if you have ever had abnormal liver function tests.

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may cause harm to an unborn baby. Do not use albendazole if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant during treatment. Use an effective form of birth control while you are using albendazole, and for at least 1 month after your treatment ends.

Your doctor may ask you to have a pregnancy test to make sure you are not pregnant before you take albendazole.

It is not known whether albendazole passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take albendazole?

Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Albendazole should be taken with food.

If you have trouble swallowing an albendazole tablet, you may crush or chew the tablet and then drink a full glass of water to swallow it.

Albendazole is sometimes given in a cycle of 4 weeks followed by 2 weeks of not taking the drug. This cycle is usually repeated until a total of 3 cycles have been given.

Take this medication for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms may get better before the infection is completely treated. Albendazole will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.

Albendazole can lower the blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. To be sure your blood cells do not get too low, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your liver function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

Store albendazole at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. Symptoms of an albendazole overdose are not known.

What should I avoid while taking albendazole?

Avoid being near people who have colds, the flu, or other contagious illnesses. Contact your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

Albendazole side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;

  • fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash; or

  • fever with chills, body aches, or flu-like symptoms.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • stomach pain;

  • nausea, vomiting;

  • headache, dizziness; or

  • temporary hair loss.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Albendazole Dosing Information

Usual Adult Dose for Hydatid Disease:

Cystic hydatid disease of the liver, lung, and peritoneum due to Echinococcus granulosus:
60 kg or more: 400 mg orally twice a day with meals
Less than 60 kg: 15 mg/kg/day orally, given in divided doses twice a day with meals (maximum dose: 800 mg/day)

Duration: 28-day cycle followed by a 14-day albendazole-free interval, for a total of 3 cycles

When administering albendazole in the presurgical or postsurgical setting, optimal killing of cyst contents is achieved when 3 courses of therapy have been given.

Usual Adult Dose for Neurocysticercosis:

Parenchymal neurocysticercosis:
60 kg or more: 400 mg orally twice a day with meals
Less than 60 kg: 15 mg/kg/day orally, given in divided doses twice a day with meals (maximum dose: 800 mg/day)

Duration: 8 to 30 days

Usual Adult Dose for Cutaneous Larva Migrans:

400 mg orally once a day for 3 days

Case Report (4)
400 mg orally twice a day for 3 days; in some of the reports therapy was continued for 5 days

Usual Adult Dose for Ascariasis:

400 mg orally once as a single dose

Usual Adult Dose for Trichostrongylosis:

400 mg orally once as a single dose

Usual Adult Dose for Pinworm Infection (Enterobius vermicularis):

400 mg orally once as a single dose; may repeat in 2 weeks

Some clinicians recommend all household contacts of patients with enterobiasis receive treatment, especially when multiple or repeated symptomatic infections occur, since such contacts commonly also are infected.

Usual Adult Dose for Filariasis:

Due to Mansonella perstans: 400 mg orally twice a day for 10 days

Usual Adult Dose for Hookworm Infection (Necator or Ancylostoma):

Intestinal infections due to A duodenal or N americanus: 400 mg orally once as a single dose; stool examination for eggs should be repeated 2 weeks after treatment and dose should be repeated if positive

Eosinophilic enterocolitis due to A caninum: 400 mg orally once as a single dose

Usual Adult Dose for Visceral Larva Migrans (Toxicariasis):

400 mg orally twice a day for 5 days; however, optimum duration is unknown and some clinicians recommend treatment for up to 20 days

Usual Adult Dose for Strongyloidiasis:

400 mg orally twice a day for 2 days; may be necessary to repeat or prolong treatment or use other agents in immunocompromised patients or patients with disseminated disease

Usual Adult Dose for Trichinosis:

400 mg orally twice a day for 8 to 14 days

Usual Adult Dose for Whipworm Infection (Trichuris trichiura):

400 mg orally once a day for 3 days

Usual Adult Dose for Capillariasis:

400 mg orally once a day for 10 days

Usual Adult Dose for Gnathostomiasis:

400 mg orally twice a day for 21 days

Usual Adult Dose for Clornorchis sinensis (Liver Fluke):

10 mg/kg orally once a day for 7 days

Usual Adult Dose for Giardiasis:

400 mg orally once a day for 5 days; may be given alone or in combination with metronidazole

Usual Adult Dose for Cysticercus cellulosae (Cysticercosis):

400 mg orally twice a day for 8 to 30 days; may repeat as necessary

Usual Adult Dose for Echinococcus Infection:

E granulosus: 400 mg orally twice a day for 1 to 6 months

Usual Adult Dose for Microsporidiosis:

Disseminated: 400 mg orally twice a day
Intestinal: 400 mg orally twice a day for 21 days
Ocular: 400 mg orally twice a day in combination with fumagillin (not commercially available in the US)

Usual Pediatric Dose for Hydatid Disease:

Cystic hydatid disease of the liver, lung, and peritoneum due to Echinococcus granulosus:
60 kg or more: 400 mg orally twice a day with meals
Less than 60 kg: 15 mg/kg/day orally, given in divided doses twice a day with meals (maximum dose: 800 mg/day)

Duration: 28-day cycle followed by a 14-day albendazole-free interval, for a total of 3 cycles

When administering albendazole in the presurgical or postsurgical setting, optimal killing of cyst contents is achieved when 3 courses of therapy have been given.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Neurocysticercosis:

Parenchymal neurocysticercosis:
60 kg or more: 400 mg orally twice a day with meals
Less than 60 kg: 15 mg/kg/day orally, given in divided doses twice a day with meals (maximum dose: 800 mg/day)

Duration: 8 to 30 days

Usual Pediatric Dose for Capillariasis:

400 mg orally once a day for 10 days

Case Reports (n=2)
Greater than 18 months: 400 mg per day for 21 days, up to 100 days

Usual Pediatric Dose for Cutaneous Larva Migrans:

400 mg orally once a day for 3 days

Case Report (n=1)
11 months: 2.5 mL (suspension: 200 mg/5 mL) orally twice a day for 3 days

Usual Pediatric Dose for Cysticercus cellulosae (Cysticercosis):

15 mg/kg/day orally, given in divided doses twice a day for 8 to 30 days; may repeat as necessary
Maximum dose: 800 mg/day

Usual Pediatric Dose for Echinococcus Infection:

E granulosus: 15 mg/kg/day orally, given in divided doses twice a day for 1 to 6 months
Maximum dose: 800 mg/day

Usual Pediatric Dose for Ascariasis:

400 mg orally once as a single dose

Usual Pediatric Dose for Trichostrongylosis:

400 mg orally once as a single dose

Usual Pediatric Dose for Pinworm Infection (Enterobius vermicularis):

400 mg orally once as a single dose; may repeat in 2 weeks

Some clinicians recommend all household contacts of patients with enterobiasis receive treatment, especially when multiple or repeated symptomatic infections occur, since such contacts commonly also are infected.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Filariasis:

Due to Mansonella perstans: 400 mg orally twice a day for 10 days

Usual Pediatric Dose for Hookworm Infection (Necator or Ancylostoma):

Intestinal infections due to A duodenal or N americanus: 400 mg orally once as a single dose; stool examination for eggs should be repeated 2 weeks after treatment and dose should be repeated if positive

Eosinophilic enterocolitis due to A caninum: 400 mg orally once as a single dose

Usual Pediatric Dose for Visceral Larva Migrans (Toxicariasis):

400 mg orally twice a day for 5 days; however, optimum duration is unknown and some clinicians recommend treatment for up to 20 days

Usual Pediatric Dose for Strongyloidiasis:

400 mg orally twice a day for 2 days; may be necessary to repeat or prolong treatment or use other agents in immunocompromised patients or patients with disseminated disease

Usual Pediatric Dose for Trichinosis:

400 mg orally twice a day for 8 to 14 days

Usual Pediatric Dose for Whipworm Infection (Trichuris trichiura):

400 mg orally once a day for 3 days

Usual Pediatric Dose for Gnathostomiasis:

400 mg orally twice a day for 21 days

Usual Pediatric Dose for Clornorchis sinensis (Liver Fluke):

10 mg/kg orally once a day for 7 days

Usual Pediatric Dose for Giardiasis:

400 mg orally once a day for 5 days; may be given alone or in combination with metronidazole

What other drugs will affect albendazole?

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • cimetidine (Tagamet, Tagamet HB);

  • dexamethasone (Decadron, Hexadrol);

  • praziquantel (Biltricide); or

  • theophylline (Elixophyllin, Slo-Bid, Theo-Dur, Uniphyl, and others).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with albendazole. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about albendazole.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.02. Revision Date: 2010-12-15, 5:01:39 PM.

Hide
(web3)