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Albendazole Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to albendazole: oral tablet, oral tablet chewable

Along with its needed effects, albendazole may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while 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

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

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

Some side effects of albendazole may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.

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