Medically reviewed on August 8, 2017.
What is mebendazole?
Mebendazole 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.
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 not listed in this medication guide.
Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
Before taking this medicine
Before you use mebendazole, tell your doctor about all your medical conditions or allergies.
It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
Mebendazole can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
Mebendazole is not approved for use by anyone younger than 2 years old.
How should I take mebendazole?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
A mebendazole tablet may be swallowed, chewed, or crushed and mixed with food.
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. Mebendazole will not treat a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold.
You may need to take this medicine for 1 to 3 days, depending on the condition you are treating. However, it could take as long as 3 weeks before the infection is completely cleared.
Wash your hands and fingernails often, especially before you eat or after using the bathroom.
If the infection does not clear up within 3 weeks, you may need a second treatment.
To prevent reinfection, follow your doctor's instructions about disinfecting your home and carefully washing all clothing, linens, and towels. Your family members or other people in your household may also need to be treated with mebendazole or other medicines. Pinworm infections can easily spread from one person to another.
You cannot cure a worm infection by fasting (starving), using laxatives, or forcing yourself to vomit. For best results, take this medicine as directed.
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.
Call your doctor if you miss more than one dose of this medicine.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Overdose symptoms may include upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
What should I avoid while taking mebendazole?
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
Mebendazole 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:
severe skin reaction--swelling in your face or tongue; sores around your eyes, nose, mouth, or genitals; hives or skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling.
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 mebendazole?
Other drugs may interact with mebendazole, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines 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 mebendazole
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- Drug class: anthelmintics