Albendazole is used to treat parasitic worm infections of the intestines and so
me other organs. It is also effective against individual unicellular organisms (protozoal infections, ex. Giardia) and belongs to a class of medicines called ‘Anti-helminthics.’
Uses of Albendazole
- Intestinal and skin infections due to parasites and worms, such as round-worm (Ascariasis), tapeworm (Taeniasis), pin-worm (Enterobiasis), hook-worm (Ancylostomiasis), thread-worm (Strongyloidiasis), whip-worm (Trichuriasis), chinese liver flukes (Clonorchiasis, Opisthorchiasis)...
- Parasitic intestinal infection causing stomach pain and loose motions (Giardiasis)
- Skin infections due to hookworms (Cutaneous Larva Migrans)
- Worm infections of rest of the body (Systemic Helminthic Infections)
- Hydatid worm or Hydatid tapeworm infection, most commonly of the liver and lungs. Brain muscles and kidneys can also be affected (Cystic Echinococcosis, caused by Echinococcus
- A worm infection of the liver than can spread to spleen, lungs and the brain (Alveolar Echinoccus caused by Echinococcus Multilocularis)
- Albendazole is used as supportive treatment to surgery in the above 2 cases
- A severe brain disease causing fits (seizures) caused by pork tapeworm (Neurocysticercosis)
- When there is formation of cysts (fluid-filled cavities) in the brain,
- Albendazole can be of greater use
Contraindications of Albendazole
When should one not use Albendazole
Side effects of Albendazole
Common side effects of this drug are:
- Headache, feeling dizzy, thinning of hair or hair loss, fever, stomach pain, vomiting, feeling sick (nausea), elevated liver enzymes (common)
- Decreased white blood cells (Leukopenia), allergic reactions of the skin such as rashes, itching, blisters, redness, liver diseases (uncommon)
- Abdominal pain or stomach pain
Precautions and Warnings of Albendazole
Other General Warnings
- Liver problems (liver enzymes may elevate)
- Suppression of bone marrow and decreased blood cell counts (Pancytopenia, Aplastic Anemia, Agranulocytosis)
- Regular blood and liver tests are mandatory through the course of treatment
- You should inform your doctor before surgery regarding all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products)
Mode of Action of Albendazole
How Does It Work?
Interactions of Albendazole
Interactions with other medicines
- Anti-seizure medications (Carbamazepine, Phenytoin, Phenobarbital)
- Antacid cimetidine (to reduce stomach acidity)
- Praziquantel (used to treat worm infections)
- Dexamethasone (suppresses immune response)
- Ritonavir (used to treat HIV/AIDS)
Interactions with food items
Dietary Restrictions of Albendazole
Dosage of Albendazole
Missed a Dose
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What else should I know before taking Albendazole?
- Albendazole should not be used in pregnancy or if you are planning pregnancy. Women of childbearing age are advised to take this medicine during their first week of menstruation or after a negative pregnancy test. Women should also take measures not to conceive (become or try for pregnancy) until one month after stopping this medicine...
- After starting the treatment, especially in brain infections, Albendazole will kill the parasites causing an immune response due to which a person can experience seizures(fits). Inform your doctor for necessary measures. Do not stop the treatment if this happens....
- It is advised to take this medicine with meals. Swallow the tablet with a glass of water. You can crush or chew the tablet if swallowing is not feasible.