Albendazole is an anti-helmintic /anti-worm drug available in tablet form and it is prescribed for the treatment of parasitic worm infections. Get to know how Albendazole works, indications and contraindications, its side effects and precautions to be taken while using it.
Albendazole medication can be used in the prevention, control, and treatment of following diseases and conditions such as Whipworm infection, Pinworm infections, Tapeworm infections, Roundworm infections, Threadworm infections, Parasitic skin infection, Eosinophilic lung disorders, and other conditions, etc. This drug is manufactured and marketed by Glaxo SmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd and it is available as 30 tablets per strip. This is available under different trade names Albenza, Alworm, Andazol, Eskazole, Noworm, Zentel, Alben-G, ABZ, Cidazole, Wormnil, etc.
Albendazole Composition and how it works?
Albendazole is composed of benzimidazole carbamate, as an active ingredient. This causes degenerative changes in the intestines of worms and restrains worms from absorbing and feeding on glucose digested by the human intestine. In the absence of glucose, the worm loses energy and becomes weak, then eventually dies. Albendazole binds to the intestinal sites of parasites much better than that of mammals (including humans) which makes the drug safe for treating worm infections.
Albendazole Uses and Benefits:
Albendazole Tablet is used to treat certain tapeworm infections (such as neurocysticercosis and hydatid disease). Other uses include
- Whipworm infection
- Pinworms infections
- Roundworm infections
- Threadworm infections
- Filaria worms infection
- Tapeworm infections
- Infection of parasites on the skin
- Eosinophilic lung disorders
- Inflammatory diseases
- Enlarged limb
- African Eye Worm
- River blindness.
- Recent studies show that a combination of three ant filarial drugs like Diethylcarbamazine Citrate, Ivermectin and Albendazole is more effective in lymphatic filariasis.
How to use albendazole?
This should be taken only when prescribed by a doctor. This drug is not an over the counter medicine. Usually, it is prescribed twice daily after food. In some cases like Hydatid disease, your physician may prescribe 28 day cycle and ask u to stop after a few days. Continue to take this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished, even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping the medication too early may result in a return of the infection.
While taking this as a 28 day cycle doctors usually check for the CBC (Complete Blood Count) and Liver Function Tests (This drug may increase the level of liver enzymes).
The dosage is based on your weight, medical condition, and response to treatment.
Dose: It is available as a 200mg tablet form. Based on the condition dose will be differed. But should not exceed 800mg per day. For the patients weighing 60 kgs and above it is 400mg /day.
For the patients less than 60kgs, 15mg/kg body weight is the regular dose prescribed.
Sometimes Albendazole is prescribed along with corticosteroids and anti-seizure drugs for the patients with such conditions. So it should be used carefully.
If you take other drugs or over the counter products at the same time, the effects of the Albendazole may change. This may cause your drug not to work properly or increase your risk for side-effects. Notify your health expert about other medicines, supplements, etc. Ask the physician for directions to use or follow the instructions printed on the product insert.
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Albendazole Contraindications and side effects
Albendazole can cause side effects but do not always occur. There are no reported side effects of discontinuing the treatment. Consult your health expert if you notice any of the following side effects, especially if they do not go away:
- Abdominal pain
- Decreased appetite.
This drug is recommended during pregnancy when there are no alternatives and the benefits outweigh the risk to the fetus. Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant the use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks.
If you are on therapy, Effective contraception is recommended during therapy and for 1 month after the last dose.
Some health problems may make u more susceptible to the side effects of the drug. The list follows…
- Renal disease
- Cardiac disease
- Glucose-galactose malabsorption
- The Lapp lactase deficiency
- History of convulsions
- Patients with rare hereditary problems of galactose intolerance.
- Albendazole tablet is contraindicated if you have Hypersensitivity to benzimidizoles.
- Grapefruit or grapefruit juice should be avoided while taking this drug.
Drug interactions of Albendazole
The medicine may interact with a few other medications. Consult your doctor before using any other medication along with this one to avoid any unwanted and undesired side effects as a result of drug interactions. Drugs which interact with the actions of albendazole are
Substitutes for Albendazole
The below listed are the following drugs which have the same composition, Strength, and form as Albendazole 100mg Tablet, Hence can be used as its substitutes:
- Dicarb 100mg Tablet – Inga Laboratories Pvt Ltd
- Hetrazan 100mg Tablet – Pfizer Ltd
- Vermox 100mg Tablet
FAQ’s about Albendazole
Can I take Albendazole in pregnancy?
Only if it is suggested by your doctor.
Are there any breastfeeding warnings?
Please consult your physician. Breastfeeding is not recommended during the use of this drug and for at least 5 days or at least 1 month after therapy, depending on the product.
Is it safe to drive after taking Albendazole?
Caution is advised when driving or operating machinery.
Does Albendazole affect kidney function?
Caution to be advised in patients with impaired renal function.
Does Albendazole affect liver function?
When it is taken as a therapy, Albendazole may alter the liver enzymes. Your doctor may ask u for LFTs before prescribing a 2 week or 28 day course.
Is Albendazole safe to take with alcohol?
If you take Albendazole with alcohol, it may cause excessive drowsiness and calmness.
If for some reason an experienced doctor is not available around you, then you can contact us here.
Dr. Divya has been pursuing Dentistry for about 5 years now. Endodontics and Orthodontics are her areas of interest and she holds a BDS degree from Govt. Dental College, Vijayawada, AP. Besides pursuing her career as a Dentist, she is passionate about Technical writing and is spending her free time in writing medical articles to bring awareness and share medical knowledge to the public.