Generic Name: mebendazole (me BEN da zole)
Brand Name: Vermox

What is mebendazole?

Mebendazole is an "antihelmintic," or anti-worm, medication. It prevents worms from growing or multiplying in your body.

Mebendazole is used to treat infections caused by worms such as whipworm, pinworm, roundworm, and hookworm. It is also used to treat infections caused by more than one of these worms at the same time.

Mebendazole may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

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

Follow your doctor's instructions about treatment; about the washing of clothes, linens, and towels; and about household disinfecting. Pinworm infections are easily spread from one person to another.

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Mebendazole tablets may be swallowed, chewed, or crushed and mixed with food.

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

Before taking mebendazole, tell your doctor about any other medical conditions that you have.

Mebendazole is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether it will be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take mebendazole without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether mebendazole passes into breast milk and how it might affect a nursing baby. Do not take mebendazole without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Children younger than 2 years of age should not take mebendazole unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

How should I take mebendazole?

Take mebendazole exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass of water.

Mebendazole tablets may be swallowed, chewed, or crushed and mixed with food.

Take all of the mebendazole that has been prescribed for you even if you begin to feel better. Your symptoms may start to improve before the infection is completely treated.

It may be up to 3 days after treatment before the worm is removed from your stomach and intestines. The amount of time it takes to cure the infection depends on how susceptible the worm is to mebendazole, and how quickly your own digestive system is moving. If the infection has not been cured within 3 weeks, a second treatment may be necessary.

Fasting, laxatives, and purging will not help cure this infection.

Treatment of family members and other close contacts may be necessary. Pinworm is spread very easily to others in close contact with the infected person.

To prevent reinfection, toilets must be disinfected daily, and clothing, linens, towels, and pajamas must be changed and washed daily.

Store mebendazole at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the dose you missed and take only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if an overdose is suspected.

Symptoms of a mebendazole overdose include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

What should I avoid while taking mebendazole?

Treatment of family members and other close contacts may be necessary. Pinworm is spread very easily to others in close contact with the infected person.

To prevent reinfection, toilets must be disinfected daily, and clothing, linens, towels, and pajamas must be changed and washed daily.

Mebendazole side effects

Stop taking mebendazole and seek emergency medical attention if you experience an allergic reaction (swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; shortness of breath; closing of your throat; or hives).

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take mebendazole and talk to your doctor if you experience abdominal pain, diarrhea, or a fever.

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)

What other drugs will affect mebendazole?

Medicines used to treat seizures, such as phenytoin (Dilantin), ethotoin (Peganone), mephenytoin (Mesantoin), and carbamazepine (Tegretol), may decrease the effects of mebendazole. Tell your doctor if you are taking any of these medications so that your therapy can be monitored.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with mebendazole. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about mebendazole.
  • 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: 3.02. Revision Date: 2010-12-15, 5:01:39 PM.

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