Meds and you

Updated 11 February 2013

Albendazole

Albendazole is indicated for the treatment of a variety of worm infestations. It is effective against whipworm, hookworm, roundworm, pinworm, tapeworm and threadworm.

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Albendazole is the active ingredient of Zentel and Bendex.

General Information

Albendazole is indicated for the treatment of a variety of worm infestations. It is effective against whipworm, hookworm, roundworm, pinworm, tapeworm and threadworm. It has also been shown to be effective in the treatment of Giardia infections in children. Albendazole tablets may be chewed, swallowed or crushed.

To avoid re-infestation it is advised to wash bedding and all clothing in warm water.

How does albendazole work?

Albendazole blocks glucose uptake by susceptible worm species, thereby depleting the energy level required for survival. Due to diminished energy production, the parasite is immobilised and eventually dies.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: Schedule 4

Available as: Albendazole is available as tablets and suspension

What does it do? Albendazole is used to treat worm infestations

Overdose risk: Medium

Dependence risk: Low

Is albendazole available as a generic? Yes

Is albendazole available on prescription only? Yes

User information

Dietary advice: Albendazole should be taken with food to prevent stomach upsets.

Stopping this medicine: Do not stop taking this medication before the prescribed course has been completed.

Prolonged use: Albendazole is not generally used over prolonged periods of time. If prescribed in this way, frequent white cell counts and liver function tests should be done.

Special precautions

In women of child-bearing age, contraception is advised during, and for one month after, treatment with albendazole.

Consult your doctor before using this drug if you have any liver disease or impaired liver function.

Pregnancy: Avoid. Potential risk to the foetus has been reported. Consult your doctor before use, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.

Breastfeeding: Avoid. This medication is passed through breast milk and may affect your baby adversely. Consult your doctor before use.

Porphyria: Caution is advised as it is unclear how this medication will affect you.

Infants and children: Do not use on children younger than 1 year of age.

Elderly: No special precautions need to be taken.

Driving and hazardous work: Caution is advised as use of this medication may lead to dizziness, light-headedness and/or sedation. Avoid such activities until you know how this medication affects you.

Alcohol: No special precautions need to be taken.

Possible side effects

Side effect

Frequency

Consult your doctor

Common

Rare

Only if severe

In all cases

Stomach pain

x

x

Headache

x

x

Dizziness

x

x

Diarrhoea

x

x

Nausea/vomiting

x

x

Fever/chills

x

x

Sore throat

x

x

Bruising/bleeding

x

x

Rash

x

x

Interactions:

Drug interactions:

Cimetidine

Increased possibility of albendazole toxicity

Dexamethasone

Increased possibility of albendazole toxicity

Praziquantel

Increased possibility of albendazole toxicity

Disease interactions

Contact your doctor in case of liver disease.

Overdose action

A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large overdose seek emergency medical attention.

Recommended dosage

Adults:

Single or mixed worm infestations: 400mg as a single dose. The dose may be repeated after 21 days if needed.

Children :

Single or mixed worm infestations: 1-2 years of age (or less than 10 kg): 200mg as a single dose; 2 years of age and older: 400mg as a single dose.

Giardiasis (dose in children over 2 years of age): A single 400mg daily dose (two 200mg tablets or 20ml suspension) for five days

This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.

 

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