Generic Name: albendazole (al BEN da zole)
Brand Name: Albenza
Medically reviewed on September 11, 2017
What is Albenza?
Albenza 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.
Albenza is used to treat certain infections caused by worms such as pork tapeworm and dog tapeworm.
Albenza may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Albenza should not be used during pregnancy, unless there is no alternate treatment. You may need to have a negative pregnancy test before starting this treatment.
Before taking this medicine
To make sure Albenza is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
liver disease; or
bone marrow suppression.
It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Albenza should not be used during pregnancy, unless there is no alternate treatment. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while taking this medicine and for at least 1 month after your treatment ends.
You may need to have a negative pregnancy test before starting this treatment.
It is not known whether albendazole passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I take Albenza?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Take with food.
In a young child (or anyone who is unable to swallow a whole Albenza tablet), the tablet should be crushed or chewed and swallowed with a full glass of water.
You may be given other medicines to prevent certain side effects of albendazole, or certain effects that can result when the parasites die within your body.
Tell your doctor if you have any changes in weight. Albenza doses are based on weight.
Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Albenza will not treat a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold.
Albenza can weaken your immune system. Your blood may need to be tested often. You will need frequent blood tests (every 2 weeks) to check your liver function.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking Albenza?
Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.
Albenza side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
signs of bone marrow suppression--sudden weakness or ill feeling, fever, chills, sore throat, mouth sores, red or swollen gums, trouble swallowing, easy bruising or bleeding; or
Common side effects may include:
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 Albenza?
Other drugs may interact with albendazole, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
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.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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More about Albenza (albendazole)
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- Drug class: anthelmintics