What is/are Albenza?
ALBENDAZOLE is an antiparasitic. It is used to treat infections of tapeworms or other parasites. This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
What should I tell my health care providers before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- biliary tract blockage
- immune system problems
- liver disease
- an unusual or allergic reaction to albendazole, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take this medicine with food. You can crush or chew this medicine. Take all of your medicine as directed even if you think your are better. Do not skip doses or stop your medicine early.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 2 years of age for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
Note: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medicine?
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care providers a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What side effects may I notice from this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- changes in vision
- difficulty breathing
- fast, irregular heartbeat
- fever, chills, sore throat
- pain, difficulty passing urine
- redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including the inside the mouth
- unusual aches, pains
- unusual bleeding, bruising
- unusually weak or tired
- yellowing of eyes, skin
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- hair loss
- nausea, vomiting
- stomach pain
This list may not describe all possible side effects.
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Visit your doctor or health care professional as directed. Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if you get new symptoms.You will need to have blood work done every 2 weeks while you are taking this medicine.
Do not get pregnant while taking this drug and for 1 month after your treatment. Talk to your doctor about effective birth control methods. Tell your doctor if you think you may be pregnant.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells.
Where should I keep this medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
Albenza is used for:
Treating certain tapeworm infections.
Albenza is an anthelmintic. It works by killing sensitive parasites.
Do NOT use Albenza if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in Albenza or to benzimidazoles (eg, rabeprazole)
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using Albenza :
Some medical conditions may interact with Albenza . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have liver problems, eye problems (eg, retinal lesions), bone marrow problems, low white blood cell counts, or low platelet counts
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Albenza . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Cimetidine, dexamethasone, or praziquantel because they may increase the risk of Albenza 's side effects
- Theophylline because the risk of its side effects may be increased by Albenza
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Albenza may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use Albenza :
Use Albenza as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Take Albenza by mouth with food.
- If you have trouble swallowing the tablet whole, it may be crushed or chewed with a little water.
- If you miss a dose of Albenza , take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once. If more than one dose is missed, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Albenza .
Important safety information:
- Albenza may cause dizziness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Albenza with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Albenza may rarely lower the ability of your body to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
- If you are a woman who may become pregnant, you should have a negative pregnancy test before you start taking Albenza . You must use an effective form of birth control while you take Albenza and for at least 1 month after you stop taking it. Talk with your doctor if you have questions about effective birth control.
- Lab tests, including complete blood cell counts and liver function tests, may be performed while you use Albenza . These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Albenza should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 1 year old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Do not use Albenza if you are pregnant. It may cause harm to the fetus. Avoid becoming pregnant while you are taking it and for at least 1 month after you stop taking it. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor right away. It is not known if Albenza is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Albenza , check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of Albenza :
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Headache; nausea; stomach pain; vomiting.
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); dark urine; decreased urination; fever, chills, or sore throat; red, swollen, peeling, or blistered skin; severe or persistent dizziness or headache; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or weakness; vision changes; yellowing of the eyes or skin.
- It is effective first line of treatment against:
- Enterobiasis (pinworm infection)
- Trichuriasis (whipworm infection)
- Cutaneous larva migrans (caused by Ancylostoma)
In Africa, albendazole is being used to treat lymphatic filariasis as part of efforts to stop transmission of the disease. In sub-Saharan Africa, albendazole is used in conjunction with ivermectin, and elsewhere in the world, the medicine is used in combination with diethylcarbamazine.
In Brazil and other countries it is used against giardiasis.
Mode of action
As a vermicidal, albendazole causes degenerative alterations in the tegument and intestinal cells of the worm by binding to the colchicine-sensitive site of tubulin, thus inhibiting its polymerization or assembly into microtubules. The loss of the cytoplasmic microtubules leads to impaired uptake of glucose by the larval and adult stages of the susceptible parasites, and depletes their glycogen stores. Degenerative changes in the endoplasmic reticulum, the mitochondria of the germinal layer, and the subsequent release of lysosomes result in decreased production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the energy required for the survival of the helminth. Due to diminished energy production, the parasite is immobilized and eventually dies.
Albendazole also has been shown to inhibit the enzyme fumarate reductase, which is helminth-specific. This action may be considered secondary to the effect on the microtubules due to the decreased absorption of glucose. This action occurs in the presence of reduced amounts of nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide in reduced form (NADH), which is a coenzyme involved in many cellular oxidation-reduction reactions.
Albendazole has larvicidal effects in necatoriasis and ovicidal effects in ascariasis, ancylostomiasis, and trichinosis.
Albendazole is only given orally (PO).
Albendazole may cause abdominal pain, dizziness, headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, or temporary hair loss.
In rare cases it may cause persistent sore throat, severe headache, seizures, vision problems, yellowing eyes or skin, dark urine, stomach pain, easy bruising, mental/mood changes, very stiff neck, change in amount of urine. Elevation of liver enzymes during treatment is a common side effect, but in rare cases there have also been reports of acute liver failure. Allergic reactions are also possible.
Rarely Albendazole has been reported to cause marrow suppression, agranulocytosis or aplastic anemia which may be permanent. The risk of developing this side effect seems to be increased in patients with liver disease, including echinococcal cysts. Because of this dangerous side effect it is important to regularly monitor complete blood counts.
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Albendazole , which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.