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Albendazole (anthelmintic, deworming agent)

Uses|Precautions & warnings|Side effects|Interactions|Dosage

Albendazole is an anthelmintic or deworming drug. It works against several types of parasites in humans.

albendazole

Uses

What is Albendazole used for?

Albendazole is commonly used to treat infections caused by tapeworms, including hydrated disease and neurocysticercosis.

How should I take Albendazole?

Read the directions on the packaging for complete information. Check the label and expiration date.

For oral tablets, chew the tablet completely, swallow, and then drink a glass of water. Take it with meals. Do not swallow the tablet whole or dissolve it in liquid.

How do I store Albendazole?

This product is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store it in the bathroom or the freezer.

There may be different brands of this drug that may have different storage needs. So, it is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush this product down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Additionally, it is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Albendazole?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if you are/have:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Taking any other medicines. This includes any prescription, OTC, and herbal remedies.
  • An allergy to any of the ingredients of this product.
  • Any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

Albendazole is not recommended during the first trimester. It may pass into breast milk. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking any medication.

This medication is pregnancy risk category C according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Albendazole?

Like all drugs, this product may have side effects. If they occur, side effects are generally mild and resolve once treatment is finished or the dose is lowered. Some reported side effects include:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Infection
  • Stomach pain
  • Aggression
  • Temporary hair loss

However, not everyone experiences these side effects. In addition, some people may experience other side effects. So, if you have any concerns about a side effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Albendazole?

This medication may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects.

To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist.

Drugs with known interactions:

  • Cimetidine
  • Dexamethasone
  • Praziquantel
  • Carbamazepine
  • Ritonavir
  • Phenobarbital
  • Phenytoin

If you experience an adverse drug interaction, inform your doctor immediately to reevaluate your treatment plan. Approaches include dose adjustment, drug substitution, or ending therapy.

Does food or alcohol interact with Albendazole?

This drug may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Avoid fatty food and grapefruit products while taking this drug. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Albendazole?

This drug may interact with underlying conditions. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. Therefore, it is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have, especially:

  • Bone marrow problems
  • Cysticercosis involving the eye
  • Liver disease

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. Therefore, you should always consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using any medication.

What is the dose for an adult?

Echinococcosis

Adult: <60 kg: 15 mg/kg daily in 2 divided doses. Max: 800 mg daily. ≥60 kg: 400 mg bid. Administer doses for 28-day cycle followed by a 14-day drug-free interval for a total of 3 cycles.

Neurocysticercosis

Body weight <60 kg: Take 15 mg per kg per day in 2 divided doses. Max: 800 mg daily.

≥60 kg: Take 400 mg two times a day. Duration of treatment: 8-30 days.

Ascariasis, Enterobiasis, Hookworm infections, Trichuriasis

Take 400 mg as a single dose.

Clonorchiasis, Opisthorchiasis

Take 400 mg two times a day for 3 days. Max: 800 mg daily; 1200 mg for 3 days. Confirm with your doctor after 1 month if worms have been eradicated.

Tapeworm infections

Take 400 mg once a day on an empty stomach for 3 consecutive days. Max: 400 mg daily; 1200 mg for 3 days. If patient is not cured after 3 weeks, a second course of treatment is needed. In cases of Hymenolepis nana infestations, retreatment in 10-21 days is recommended.

Cutaneous larva migrans

Take 400 mg once a day for 1-3 days. Max: 400 mg daily; 1200 mg for 3 days.

What is the dose of Albendazole for a child?

Echinococcosis

Same as adult dose.

Neurocysticercosis

Same as adult dose.

Ascariasis, Enterobiasis, Hookworm infections, Trichuriasis

For ages: 1-2 years 200 mg as a single dose.

>2 years: Same as adult dose. Max: 200 mg.

Clonorchiasis, Opisthorchiasis

For ages >2 years: same as adult dose.

Tapeworm infections

For ages >2 years: same as adult dose.

Cutaneous larva migrans

For ages >2 years: same as adult dose.

Giardiasis

For ages: 1-12 years: 400 mg once daily on an empty stomach for 5 days. Max: 400 mg daily; 2000 mg for 5 days.

How is Albendazole available?

Albendazole is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Chewable tablets: 200 mg, 400 mg
  • Suspension: 20 mg/ml.

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Albendazole https://www.mims.com/philippines/drug/info/albendazole?mtype=generic Accessed June 23, 2021

Albendazole https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Albendazole Accessed June 23, 2021

Albendazole (Oral Route) https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/albendazole-oral-route/proper-use/drg-20061505 Accessed June 23, 2021

Albendazole http://www.antimicrobe.org/drugpopup/albendazole.htm Accessed June 23, 2021

Albendazole. Lexi-Drugs. Lexicomp. Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. Riverwoods, IL. Accessed June 23, 2021. http://online.lexi.com

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Written by Stephanie Nicole Nera, RPh, PharmD Updated Jun 23
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