Albendazole is an anti-parasitic medicine that is used to treat many diseases caused by parasitic worms. It usually used to treat neurocysticercosis (tapeworm or roundworm affecting the brain and muscles), Giardiasis (intestinal infection), Haidatid disease, Pinworm disease (intestinal infection), Ankeraasis (gastrointestinal infection), Filariasis (lymph nodes and vessels). Patients affected by these diseases require immediate medical attention before the situation gets worse. The medicine belongs to the group of Anthelmintics, which helps to kill parasitic worms without harming the patient’s body. It is available in tablets and can be taken orally.
In this article, we will look at:
- What is the composition of albendazole?
- How does albendazole work?
- What are the uses of albendazole?
- What are the side effects of albendazole?
- What is the dosage of albendazole?
Albendazole tablet is used to treat infections caused by parasitic worms in the body. This medicine is also used to treat infections caused by tapeworms, roundworms and hookworms, cystic hydatid disease of the liver, lung, and peritoneum. It works by preventing the worm from absorbing sugar from the body so that the worm loses energy and dies.
Albendazole Tablet Composition
Albendazole is an orally administered anthelmintic drug. Chemically, albendazole composition is methyl 5- (propylthio)-2-benzimidazole carbamate. The molecular formula is C12H15N3O2S and its molecular weight is 265.34 g/mol. Inactive ingredients in albendazole composition consist of lactose monohydrate, povidone, sodium lauryl sulfate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, carnauba wax, hypromellose, sodium saccharin, sodium starch glycolate, and starch.
How Does Albendazole Tablet Work?
Albendazole is converted into sulfoxide form. Cytoplasmic cells cause the microtubules and vaginal cells to collapse. As a result, energy and metabolic processes decrease and parasites die. It prevents the worm from absorbing sugar from the body. In turn, the worm loses energy and dies.
Albendazole Tablet Uses
Albendazole is used to treat certain infections caused by worms such as pork tapeworm and dog tapeworm. Albendazole uses are in treating parasitic worm infections such as
- Hydatid Disease- The use of albendazole tablet can be used in the treatment of hydatid disease or echinococcosis, which is due to the larvae of the dog’s tapeworm.
- Neurocysticercosis- Albendazole tablet is used in the treatment of pork tapeworm infection.
- Enterobiasis- Albendazole can be used in the treatment of pinworm infection.
- Strongyloidiasis- Albendazole tablet can be used to treat threadworm infection.
- Ascariasis- This drug can be used in the treatment of roundworm infection.
- Trichuriasis- This can be used in the treatment of white climate infection.
- Commune larva migraine- Albendazole can be used in the treatment of the hookworm infection of the skin.
- Filariasis- The drug can be used to treat infection by Filarial, which attacks the lymph nodes and vessels.
- Giardiasis- Albendazole is used in the treatment of intestinal parasitic infections in children.
Albendazole Side Effects
In addition to its desired effect, albendazole can also cause some negative effects. In such cases, you should get urgent medical attention. Some of albendazole side effects of taking albendazole are:
- Fever: In some patients, albendazole may cause fever after administration. The incidence should be immediately reported to the doctor.
- Headache: Albendazole may cause headaches if the intended use is to kill the parasite present in the brain.
- Nausea or Vomiting Major Common: Albendazole may cause nausea or vomiting or both if the intended use is to kill the parasite present inside the brain.
- Seizures: Albendazole may cause seizures or fits if the purpose is to kill the parasite present in the brain.
- Darker Urine Moderate Less Common: Albendazole May cause the yellow color
- Temporary Hair Loss Moderate Less Common: Albendazole may cause some loss of hair while under medication.
- Elevated Liver Enzymes Moderate Common: Albendazole may cause the liver to go up to moderate levels. Severe liver damage could cause a chance if the dose is prolonged.
- Allergic Skin Reaction Major Rare: Albendazole may also cause a rare skin reaction called Erythema Multiforme. Hives and rashes can also occur in some patients.
- Blood Reactions Major Rare: Albendazole can react with the blood veins and can result in tiredness, lack of breath, abnormal bruising and bleeding.
This is not a comprehensive list of side effects so inform your doctor if you experience an adverse reaction to the medication.
Patients should follow all directions on the prescription label for the right albendazole dosage. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended by your doctor.
- Take with food.
- For a child, it is difficult to swallow the entire table so it is recommended to crushed or chewed and then swallowed with a full glass of water.
- Other medications may be prescribed to prevent certain side effects of albendazole or certain effects caused by the result of parasites dying within the body.
- Albendazole doses are prescribed on the basis of weight; therefore, you should inform your doctor if you notice any changes in weight.
- Symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared but you should complete the dosage for the full prescribed length of time. Skipping doses can increase the risk of further infection.
- High albendazole dosage can weaken the immune system. Patients taking albendazole need frequent blood tests every two weeks to check liver function.
- Take albendazole tablets as instructed by your health care provider. Your doctor will tell you how much albendazole to take and when to take it. Before you start albendazole, read any printed information that comes with the medicine.
This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems, so, inform your pharmacist before taking albendazole tablets or any other benzimidazole anthelmintic drugs. Share your medical history with your doctor or pharmacist such as liver disease, blood/bone marrow disorder and biliary tract problems (such as blockage). Albendazole preventions are necessary as this medication may cause liver problems. Drinking alcohol increases the risk of liver problems, limit alcoholic beverages while using this medication. Consult with the doctor or pharmacist for more information. Before using any other medicine with albendazole, take advice from the doctor. If you forget to take a dose, as soon as you remember it, you can take it. However, you may leave it when it’s too late and follow your schedule from the next time. Do not take two doses together. Do not stop your medicines before the scheduled time, even if you think you are feeling better. In addition, you should consult your child’s pediatrician before using it. There may be mild side effects when treating the baby, which is normal. Like headaches, dizziness, diarrhea, and loss of hair, however, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible if you experience any of these symptoms. Albendazole tablets are not recommended if a woman is pregnant unless there is no alternative treatment. Although it is unknown whether this medicine harms an unborn baby, it is advised to inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant while using this medicine. Inform your doctor if you have any of the following health conditions:
- Obstruction of the gallstones
- Liver disease
- Changes in your vision
- Sudden seizure
- Abnormal bleeding or rubbing
- Distracted urine or light-colored stool
- Low blood count (low count of low platelet, WBC or RBC)
- If you are pregnant or are planning to be pregnant
- If you are a breastfeeding mother and you are allergic to albendazole
- A skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of your lips, tongue or face would imply that you had an allergic reaction to the medication
- If you are suffering from sore throat, fever or chills
- Losing the right side of your upper stomach, or losing the pain
- Feeling unusually tired or weak
- Due to symptoms like flu
Albendazole tablets may cause liver problems in some cases. You are advised to limit alcohol consumption when under medication of this drug.
Interactions of Albendazole
Whenever you take more than one medication or mix albendazole with certain foods or beverages, then you are at risk of interaction with the drug.
- Clozapine – Major side effects: Any signs or symptoms of infection should be reported to the doctor. If any medicines are being used, tell the doctor so that appropriate safe options can be determined.
- Dexamethasone – Moderate Side effects: If Dexamethasone is prescribed with albendazole; it is necessary to make appropriate adjustments in the dosage under the doctor’s supervision.
- Praziquantel (Praziquantel) – Moderate side effects: Before using Albendazole with Praziquantel, appropriate adjustments should be done in the dose.
- Carbamazepine – Moderate side effects: It is recommended to bring adequate adjustments in the dose of Albendazole according to the level of Carbamazepine monitored by the doctor.
- Phenytoin – Moderate side effects: The appropriate adjustment in this drug supplement is recommended by the doctor on the basis of monitoring of the levels.
Q.How long does the duration of albendazole impact occur?
Ans. Albendazole starts working in the liver and remains active in the body for 8.5- 9 hours.
Q. When does the effect of Albendazole tablet start?
Ans. Albendazole is gradually absorbed in GIT and reaches its peak level within 2-5 hours of use.
Q. Is there any pregnancy warning and precautions with Albendazole tablet?
Ans. Pregnant women are more likely to harm the developing embryo while using albendazole. Since there is a lack of conclusive evidence on human studies, this is not recommended for use. However, its use can be considered in cases where the potential benefits exceed the risks.
Q. Is Albendazole a habit-forming medication?
Ans. The chances of making any habit of this drug have not been reported.
Q. Is there any breastfeeding warning for Albendazole?
Ans. This medicine is not excreted in breast milk but still consult a doctor before taking Albendazole.
You can take this medication by mouth with meals or as directed by your doctor, usually 1 to 2 times daily. If you or your child has trouble swallowing albendazole tablets, you may crush or chew the dose and take it with water. Make sure you take albendazole as directed by the doctor to prevent further complications.