Albendazole (By mouth)

Introduction

Albendazole (al-BEN-da-zole)

Treats hydatid disease and other infections caused by tapeworms. May also be used to treat infections caused by roundworms, hookworms, and pinworms. Belongs to a class of drugs called anthelmintics.

Brand Name(s)

Albenza

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to albendazole or to related medicines such as mebendazole (Vermox®, Mebendacin®).

How to Use This Medicine

Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take and how often.
  • It is best to take this medicine with meals. Taking albendazole with food will help your body absorb the medicine better.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take the missed dose as soon as possible, unless it is almost time for your next dose.
  • Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next regular dose.
  • You should not use two doses at the same time.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the tablets at room temperature, away from heat, direct light, and moisture.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also taking cimetidine (Tagamet®), praziquantel (Biltricide®), or dexamethasone.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Tell your doctor if you have a history of liver disease or currently have liver problems.
  • You should not use this medicine if you are pregnant. Albendazole may cause birth defects or be harmful to an unborn baby.
  • Your doctor should give you a pregnancy test before you start the medicine to make sure you aren't pregnant.
  • Use an effective form of birth control while taking this medicine and for at least one month after your last dose.
  • If you think you might be pregnant after you have started taking the medicine, stop taking it and call your doctor right away.
  • Talk with your doctor before taking this medicine if you are breastfeeding.
  • A few patients have had liver damage or bone marrow problems caused by albendazole. Your doctor may want to test your blood regularly while you are taking this medicine to watch for these harmful effects. Try to keep all of the appointments that are made for you.
  • If you are taking albendazole for hookworms or whipworms, your doctor may want you to take iron supplements.
  • Pinworms are easily spread from one person to another. Have all other members of your household checked or treated. Wash all night clothes and bedding (such as sheets, pads, spreads and blankets) in hot water.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Unexplained fever, chills, or sore throat
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding
  • Rash or hives

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness, headache

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

         
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