Albendazole is a prescription medication used to treat parasitic worm infections, including tapeworms, hookworms, and pinworms. Albenza contains an active ingredient called Albendazole. Albendazole belongs to a class of medications called anthelmintic. It works by starving the parasites of vital nutrients they need to survive.
Albendazole has low solubility, making it non-toxic, and it targets a specific metabolic process of the worms. By binding to proteins in their cells and preventing the uptake of glucose, it leaves them malnourished and unable to survive. It can prevent the worms from reaching adulthood, which will result in no reproduction, and eventually, the worm infestation will be eradicated.
Uses and Dosage
Albenza comes in the form of tablet and is typically taken by mouth with or without food, and dosage may vary depending on the specific condition being treated. It is usually taken twice daily with food. When it is used to treat neurocysticercosis, it is typically taken for 8 to 30 days, while treatment for cystic hydatid disease involves taking the medication for 28 days, followed by a 14-day break, and then repeating the cycle for a total of three cycles. Take Albendazole at around the same time every day and follow the prescription label instructions carefully.
The typical dosing for Albendazole (Albenza) depends on the specific indication and is usually prescribed by a healthcare professional. The dosing can vary depending on the condition being treated, with options ranging from a single dose to a course of up to several weeks, depending on the severity of the infection.
- Tapeworms that cause cysts in body organs: The strength of albendazole (Albenza) depends on your weight, but the maximum dose taken is 400 mg. Albendazole (Albenza) is taken by mouth twice a day with meals for 28 days. You will then have 14 days of no medication, followed by another 28 days of albendazole (Albenza) with the same dose. This pattern is repeated a total of 3 times.
- Tapeworms in the brain: The strength of albendazole (Albenza) depends on your weight, but the maximum dose taken is 400 mg. Albendazole (Albenza) is taken by mouth twice a day with meals for 8 to 30 days.
Common Side Effects of Albenza (Albendazole):
- Hair loss
- Light sensitivity
- Neck stiffness
- Stomach pain
Serious Side Effects of Albenza (Albendazole):
- Pain behind eyes
- Ringing in the ears
- Severe chills
- Severe nausea
- Sore throat
- Sores in the mouth
- Vision changes
Form and Strength
Albenza (Albendazole) is available in the following forms and strength:
- 200 mg
- 400 mg
- Albenza may interact with other medications or herbal supplements, tell your doctor about all the medications and supplements you are taking.
- Albenza can cause liver damage, especially with long-term use or at high doses. Therefore, liver function tests may be needed periodically during treatment.
- Albenza may harm the developing fetus or nursing infants. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding before taking Albenza.
- Albenza can cause an allergic reaction in some people. Signs of an allergic reaction include hives, rash, itching, swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat, difficulty breathing or swallowing.
- Albenza may cause neurologic side effects such as headache, dizziness, seizures, or confusion. These side effects are usually reversible and go away after stopping the medication.
- Health care workers should follow standard precautions when working with Albenza or any hazardous drugs to prevent exposure or contamination.
- Albenza should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed. It is not known if Albendazole is excreted in breast milk. Consult with your doctor before using Albenza if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Albenza can be used in children, but the dose and duration of treatment depend on the child’s weight and the type of infection being treated. Your healthcare provider can provide guidance on the appropriate use of Albenza in children.
- If you miss a dose of Albenza, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not double your dose to make up for a missed one.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How quickly does Albenza work?
The effectiveness of Albenza depends on the type of infection being treated. In some cases, a single dose may be enough to clear the infection, while in other cases, several weeks of treatment may be necessary.
How is Albenza supplied?
Albenza is available in tablet form in strengths of 200 mg and 400 mg. The tablets should be taken with food.
How should Albenza be stored?
Albenza should be stored at room temperature, away from heat and moisture. Keep the medication out of the reach of children.