Trade Names/Brand Names :
Albenza, Eskazole, Zentel, Andazol and Alworm
Why it is prescribed :
This medication is an anthelmintic, prescribed for tapeworm infections, hydatid cyst disease, cysticercosis or neurocysticercosis, capillariasis, cutaneous larva migrans, giardiasis, microsporidiosis including Septata intestinalis infection, intestinal parasites in immigrants, strongyloidiasis, trichinosis, trichostrongyliasis. It works by killing sensitive parasites.
When it is not to be taken (Contraindications):
Contraindicated in pregnant and breastfeeding women, neonates, patients with known hypersensitivity, and liver impairment.
Category D :
There is an evidence of fetal risk based on adverse reaction data, but potential benefits may allow the drug to be used in pregnant women despite risks.
Dosage & When it is to be taken (Indications):
Dosing of ALBENZA (albendazole) will vary, depending upon which of the following parasitic infections is being treated.
Hydatid cyst disease:
Adults >= 60 kg: 400 mg twice daily with meals for 28 days followed by a 14-day drug-free period. Repeat for 2 more cycles. For inoperable hydatid cysts, up to 5 cycles may be given.
Adults < 60 kg: 15 mg/kg/day (not to exceed 800 mg/day) given in two divided doses for 28 days followed by a 14-day drug-free period. Repeat as above.
Children >= 6 years: 15 mg/kg/day given in two divided doses for 28 days, followed by a 14-day drug-free period. Repeat as above.
Cysticercosis or neurocysticercosis (larval form of T. solium):
Adults >= 60 kg: 400 mg twice daily for 8 - 30 days. Treatment may be repeated as necessary.
Adults < 60 kg: 15 mg/kg/day given in two divided doses for 8 - 30 days. Maximum dosage 800 mg/day. Treatment may be repeated as necessary.
Children >= 6 years: 15 mg/kg/day given in two divided doses for for 8 - 30 days. Maximum dosage 800 mg/day. Treatment may be repeated as necessary.
Adults and Children >= 2 years: 200 mg twice daily for 10 days.
Cutaneous larva migrans:
Adults: 400mg once daily for 3 days.
Children: 5 mg/kg/day for 3 days.
Adults: 400 mg once daily for 3 days.
Microsporidiosis including Septata intestinalis infection:
Adults: 400 mg twice daily to 1600 mg twice daily has been used. Average dosage 800 mg twice daily. May take up to 2 months to see effect.
Intestinal parasites in immigrants:
Adults: 400 mg once daily for 5 days.
Strongyloidiasis or taeniasis (tapeworm infection):
Adults and Children >= 2 years: 400 mg once daily for 3 days. May repeat course in 3 weeks.
Children < 2 years: 200 mg once daily for 3 days. May repeat course in 3 weeks.
Adults: 400 mg twice daily for 15 days.
Adults: 400 mg as a single dose.
How it should be taken :
It comes in a tablet form to take by mouth (orally). Should be taken with food.
Warnings and Precautions :
Monitor blood counts and liver function.
Patients being treated for neurocysticercosis should receive appropriate steroid and anticonvulsant therapy as required.
It is important to take iron every day while you are being treated for hookworm infection because it causes anemia.
Administer within 7 days of start of normal menstruation in women of childbearing age.
Adequate non-hormonal contraceptive measures must be taken during and for 1 month after therapy.
Perform liver function tests and blood counts before and every 2 wk during high dose therapy of hydatid disease.
It may cause bone marrow depression.
It may cause dizziness. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
In young children, the tablets should be crushed or chewed and swallowed with glass of water.
Side Effects :
Central Nervous System
Headache, seizures, confusion, raised intracranial pressure, dizziness/vertigo, signs that meningeal sings.
Reversible hair loss, infection, hypersensitivity including rash and hives, allergic reactions.
Abdominal pain, nausea/vomiting.
Acute kidney failure, dark urine.
Abnormal Liver Function Tests, inflammation of liver
Decrease in the number of white blood cells, thrombocytes, hemoglobin.
Other Precautions :
Do not change the dose, without your Doctor's advice.
Storage Conditions :
Store in room temperature in an airtight container and keep away from excess heat, moisture and children.