Albendazole

Generic Name (active ingredient): Albendazole
Brand Name: Albenza, Eskazole, Zentel, Andazol

Albendazole is a broad spectrum antihelminthic drug that is highly effective against pinworm infection (enterobiasis) and whip-worm infection (trichocephalosis). Albendazole is also used for the treatment of lumbricosis, hookworm disease, strongyloidosis, pork tapeworm infection, mixed infections caused by these organisms.

How does the medication work?
Albendazole is antihelminthic preparation. Action mechanism is associated with inhibiting the polymerization of beta-tubulin leading to destruction of cytoplasmatic microtubules of the helminth's gastrointestinal tract; changes several biochemical reactions (suppresses glucose utilization), blocks the movement of secretory granules and other organells in the muscular cells of nematode worms. It is highly effective against: Echinococcus granulosus, Taenia solium, Strongyloides stercolatis.

Why is Albendazole prescribed?

  • Nematodoses (lumbricosis, enterobiosis, ankylostomiasis, necatoriasis, trichocephalosis)
  • Mixed helminthic invasions
  • Neurocysticercosis caused by Taenia solium
  • Echinococcosis of the liver, lungs, abdomen caused by Echinococcus granulosus
  • Giardiasis
  • Toxocarosis

What should I know before taking Albendazole?
Do not use this medication if you are allergic to Albendazole or to any other medicines such as:

  • Mebendazole or other benzimidazoles preparations

Do not take Albendazole if any of the below conditions apply to you:

  • Retina damage
  • Severe liver diseases including hepatic failure
  • Severe kidney diseases
  • Pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding

Albendazole belongs to a pregnancy category C meaning that the effect of the medication can be harmful to the fetus.

Before taking Albendazole, tell your health care provider about any other medicines you take or if you have any of the following disorders:

  • Blood disorders
  • Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (including IBS, Chrone's disease)
  • Cardiovascular diseases

How to take Albendazole:
Albendazole is available in the forms of coated tablets, chewable tablets, oral suspension. All Albendazole forms are taken orally (by mouth). Suspension should be carefully shaken before application. Dosage of Albendazole is prescribed individually by physician.

Take the entire amount of Albendazole prescribed by your doctor, even if you feel better before the end of the treatment. If you stop taking medication too early, symptoms may return.
If you missed the scheduled dose, take the medication as soon as you remember, but skip the dose if it is almost the time for the following dose. Do not take two doses at once.

What are the side effects of Albendazole?
Albendazole may cause the following side effects:
Gastrointestinal tract: liver dysfunction, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting
Hemopoietic system: leukopenia, granulocytopenia, agranulocytosis, thrombocytopenia, pancytopenia
CNS: headache, drowsiness, symptoms similar to meningitis
Other: hyperthermia, increased blood pressure, acute renal failure, allergic reactions

If you experience any side effect that last long or becomes bothersome, please inform your doctor as dose adjustment or treatment discontinuation may be required.
If you overdose Albendazole, seek immediate medical attention. Overdose symptoms include:

Which are Albendazole overdose symptoms?
The most common overdose effects include diarrhea, vomiting, tachycardia, and respiratory distress. In case of Albendazole overdose symptomatic treatment should be carried.

Which other medicines may affect Albendazole?
Albendazole may interact with the following groups of drugs:

  • H2 histamine receptor blocker (cimetidine)
  • Corticosteroids
  • Praziquantel (schistosomiasis treatment)

For a complete list of possible interactions ask your doctor or pharmacist. Before taking Albendazole, let your doctor know what other medicines, including OTC, you currently take.

How should I store Albendazole?
You should store the medication at dry and protected from light place out of reach of children.

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