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Albendazole Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to albendazole: oral tablet, oral tablet chewable

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by albendazole. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

Severity: Major

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking albendazole:

Less common
  • Fever
Rare
  • Black, tarry stools
  • bleeding gums
  • blood in the urine or stools
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • cough
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • shortness of breath
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • swollen glands
  • ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
Incidence not known
  • Blistering, peeling, loosening of the skin
  • blurred vision
  • dark-colored urine
  • diarrhea
  • general feeling of tiredness or weakness
  • headache
  • itching
  • joint or muscle pain
  • light-colored stools
  • red, irritated eyes
  • seizures
  • stomach pain, continuing
  • tightness in the chest
  • vomiting
  • yellow eyes or skin

Severity: Minor

Some of the side effects that can occur with albendazole may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
Less common
  • Nausea
Less common or rare
  • Dizziness
  • thinning or loss of the hair
Incidence not known
  • Lack or loss of strength

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to albendazole: compounding powder, oral tablet, oral tablet chewable

General

Side effects differed between hydatid disease and neurocysticercosis. Symptoms were generally mild and resolved without treatment. Therapy was discontinued primarily due to leukopenia (0.7%) or hepatic abnormalities (3.8% in hydatid disease).[Ref]

Hepatic

Very common (10% or more): Elevated liver enzymes (up to 16%)
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hepatitis
Frequency not reported: Hepatotoxicity, hepatic abnormalities, jaundice, hepatocellular damage
Postmarketing reports: Acute liver failure[Ref]

Mild to moderate elevated liver enzymes were very common.

Severe hepatic abnormalities, including jaundice and hepatocellular damage (possibly irreversible), have been reported during prolonged higher dose treatment of hydatid disease.

Elevated liver enzymes and hepatitis have also been reported during postmarketing experience.[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Headache (up to 11%)
Common (1% to 10%): Raised intracranial pressure, dizziness, neurological events
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Vertigo, meningeal signs
Postmarketing reports: Somnolence, convulsion[Ref]

Headache has also been reported during postmarketing experience.[Ref]

Gastrointestinal

Common (1% to 10%): Epigastric/abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, upper gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, GI disturbances
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Diarrhea
Rare (less than 0.1%): Pancreatitis[Ref]

Upper GI symptoms (e.g., epigastric/abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting) and GI disturbances (abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting) were reported.

Diarrhea has also been reported during postmarketing experience.[Ref]

Dermatologic

Common (1% to 10%): Reversible alopecia (thinning of hair, moderate hair loss)
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Itchiness, skin rashes
Postmarketing reports: Erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome[Ref]

Reversible alopecia (thinning of hair and moderate hair loss) has also been reported during postmarketing experience.[Ref]

Other

Fever has also been reported during postmarketing experience.[Ref]

Common (1% to 10%): Fever, hyperpyrexia
Postmarketing reports: Asthenia[Ref]

Hematologic

Agranulocytosis and pancytopenia have also been reported during postmarketing experience.

Patients with liver disease (including hepatic echinococcosis) appeared more susceptible to bone marrow suppression.[Ref]

Common (1% to 10%): Leukopenia
Rare (less than 0.1%): Low red cell count, pancytopenia, thrombocytopenia
Frequency not reported: Granulocytopenia, agranulocytosis
Postmarketing reports: Aplastic anemia, bone marrow suppression, neutropenia[Ref]

Hypersensitivity

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hypersensitivity reactions (including rash, pruritus, urticaria)[Ref]

Ocular

Rare (less than 0.1%): Ocular maculopathy
Frequency not reported: Retinal damage
Postmarketing reports: Blurred vision[Ref]

Musculoskeletal

Rare (less than 0.1%): Bone pain
Postmarketing reports: Rhabdomyolysis[Ref]

Genitourinary

Rare (less than 0.1%): Proteinuria

Renal

Postmarketing reports: Acute renal failure[Ref]

References

1. "Product Information. Albenza (albendazole)." SmithKline Beecham, Philadelphia, PA.

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

Not all side effects for albendazole may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. Drugs.com does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. 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 substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.

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