Albendazole (Oral)

Albendazole is an anti-worm medication or an anthelmintic that is used in most health centers to prevent newly hatched worms from multiplying or growing in the human body.

Overview

Albendazole is used in the treatment of various infections which may be caused by worms including dog tapeworms, pork tapeworms, neurocysticercosis, and hydatid diseases. The medication may not be appropriate during pregnancy. However, some doctors prescribe it in case there is no other alternative treatment. Therefore, it could be appropriate to do a pregnancy test before using such medication.

Also, it may not be appropriate to take this medicine if one is allergic to Albendazole or any related drugs such as mebendazole. To ensure that such medication is safe for you, you must confirm with your doctor that you do not have bone marrow suppression, liver disease, biliary tract problems or any other crucial medical history. It is also not yet proved that Albendazole can pass into breast milk; thus, it may not be wise to take it if you are lactating.

Conditions treated:

  • Gnathostomiasis
  • Liver fluke
  • Cysticercosis
  • Capillariasis
  • Whipworm infection
  • Trichostrongylosis
  • Trichinosis
  • Toxicariasis
  • Enterocolitis
  • Necator or Ancylostoma

Type of medicine:

  • Albendazole

Side Effects:

It is advisable that a patient takes emergency medical assistance if he/she gets any signs of allergic reaction with the Albendazole such as difficulty in breathing, swelling of the face, throat or tongue, or even hives. It is also essential to consult your doctor if you have:

  • Liver problems, upper stomach pain, nausea, tired feeling, dark urine, itching, nausea, jaundice or clay-colored stools.
  • Any sign of bone marrow suppression such as sore throats, chills, fever, ill feeling, mouth sores, trouble swallowing, swollen gums, and easy bleeding.

Other common side effects may include dizziness, headache, spinning sensation, stomach pain, and nausea or vomiting, along with temporary loss of hair. In case you feel any other abnormal reaction in your body, it would be necessary to consult with your medical provider for some professional advice.

Dosage

Actual dosage of neurocysticercosis: Below 60 kg: 15 mg/kg per day orally and divided doses to be taken twice in a day before taking any meals. The maximum dose per day is 800mg. If a patient is above 60 kg, he/she should take 400 mg orally twice in a day during or after meals. Additionally, the duration of the therapy is between eight and 30 days.

Patients should, however, receive some appropriate anticonvulsant or steroid as needed if they have such an illness. Besides, IV or oral corticosteroids must be considered in the prevention of cerebral hypertensive episodes especially in the first week of your therapy.

In case one has parenchymal neurocysticercosis, which could be caused by larval Taenia Solium, Albendazole should be appropriately used. The usual dosage of Enterobius Vernaculars is 400 mg orally as a single dose that is repeated in two weeks.

Experts recommend that all the household contacts which have been infected by this illness receive a comprehensive treatment through this dosage. Some households may need retreatment after 14 or 21 days if the infections persist.

Dosage of Hydatid Disease

For less than 60 kg, it is recommended that 15 mg/kg be divided twice a day and should be taken orally after or during meals. The maximum dose of Albendazole is 800 mg per day. For patients over 60 kg, they should take 400mg twice a day after or during meals orally. The duration period for therapy is a 28-day cycle followed by a drug-free interview of 14 days. The sequences should make a total of 3 days.

Use: for any treatment of cystic Hydatid disease of the lung, liver or peritoneum which is a result of the larval form of Echinococcus granulosus.

Dosage of the Necator

The US CDC recommendations a 400mg single dose administered orally. The medicine is highly recommended for any infection that may result from Ancylostoma duodenal, as well as from the Necator americanus.

Dosage for visceral larva migrans

The recommendation for this disease is 400 mg orally, taken twice a day for a maximum of five days. Albendazole is also highly recommended for visceral Toxicariasis. The maximum duration for the therapy of the visceral larva migraines is not yet known. However, some experts may recommend 20 days of treatment while administering this kind of medicine.

Dosage of Strongyloidiasis

For this treatment, experts recommend 400 mg which is taken orally twice in a day for no more than seven days. This is supported by alternative therapy. Nevertheless, it may be crucial to prolong treatment as well as use some other agent, especially in immunocompromised patients or those with disseminated diseases.

Dosage of Cysticercosis

The dosage is highly recommended as 400 mg to be taken twice in a day for between eight to 30 days. Therapy could be necessary for at a minimum of 30 days primarily on patients with subarachnoid cysts or even giant cysts in fissures. Some surgical intervention could also be necessarily followed by a comprehensive treatment of the Albendazole. Along with dexamethasone, or prednisone, the medicine is highly recommended for vasculitis, arachnoiditis or even cerebral edema.

Dosage of Enterocolitis

The expert recommendation for this dosage is 400mg orally, which should be taken as a single dose. The treatment is highly recommended for eosinophilic Enterocolitis due to the A caninum.

Dosage of Filariasis

Albendazole is recommended by experts as 400mg to be taken orally twice in a day for 10 days or less.

Drug Interaction

In most cases, many drugs are known to interact with other types of drugs in the human body. This changes all the effects of every medication in a patient. The interaction may render one pill useless or make both of them useless. It is, therefore, necessary for patients to keep a list of the medicines they are taking and understand how such medications react to each other. It is also necessary to make sure that your doctor is aware of the other medicines you are taking before prescribing any drug for you.

The following is a description of the significant medicines, which are known to have interacted with Albendazole negatives in most medical cases. If taking any of these drugs, it may be necessary to notify your doctor before starting to take any Albendazole dose. Cimetidine, dexamethasone, praziquantel are medicines which are known to interact and increase the plasma levels of Albendazole in the human body.

On the other hand, Ritonavir, carbamazepine, Phenobarbital, and phenytoin are known to have the potential to reduce the plasma concentrations of the Albendazole metabolite. However, the clinical relevance of this is not yet known. Even so, the drugs could result in some decreased efficacy, especially on systematic helminthic infections' treatments. You should inform your doctor if you are using these treatments before commencing the dose of Albendazole.

Your doctor should be able to identify all the medications which react with the dosage of Albendazole they will administer to you as a patient. However, Albendazole has not yet proved to have severe interaction with other drugs, other crucial but moderate communication includes Osphenytoin, phenytoin or the grapefruit. The minor interactions may consist of praziquantel, dexamethasone. As indicated earlier, it is imperative to keep a list of the medications you are taking and ensure that your doctor is aware of them.

Warnings

Bone Marrow Suppression

The fatalities associated with Albendazole have been reported since pancytopenia or granulocytopenia could sometimes cause extreme bone marrow suppression effects, agranulocytosis or even aplastic anemia.

It may be necessary to monitor blood count, especially in the first 28 days of therapy. This should be repeated after every two weeks in the course of treatment of a patient. Patients who have liver diseases could be at a higher risk of getting bone marrow suspension. Therefore, more monitoring may be necessary. If there is a significant decrease in blood count, you may need to discontinue Albendazole medication.

Neurologic Symptoms Risk in Neurocysticercosis

For patients undergoing neurocysticercosis, there is a need to get adequate steroid therapy. This is necessary for the prevention of hypertensive episode, especially in the first weeks of medication. Symptoms could include increased intracranial pressure or changed focal signs. The symptoms are caused by the inflammatory reaction between the death of parasites and the brain cells.

Teratogenic Effects

Albendazole may cause significant harm and should not be prescribed to pregnant women. This is the only exception in some clinical circumstances where there may be no alternative management procedure of a given scenario. It is always necessary to obtain a pregnancy test before taking any Albendazole substance. This applies to women who have reproductive potential. It is also necessary to use appropriate birth control methods if one is under Albendazole therapy. It is required to discontinue the medication if one becomes pregnant in the course of the medication period.

The Retinal Damage Risk Especially In Patients with the Retina Neurocysticercosis

Before a doctor initiates a therapy on any neurocysticercosis patient, it is essential to examine them for any retinal lesions. If the injuries are visualized, the experts should weigh the need for the therapy against the possibility of the retinal damage which could result from the inflammatory suffering from the death of parasites in the human body.

The Unmasking Of the Neurocysticercosis in Patient with Hydatid

Undiagnosed neurocysticercosis could be uncovered in patients who are undergoing the Albendazole treatment. Therefore, patients who have a high risk of neurocysticercosis must be evaluated before initiating the Albendazole medication program.

Hepatic Effects

In most clinical trials, Albendazole treatments have been associated with some mild to moderate elevations of hepatic enzymes in roughly 16% patients. There are also some cases of liver failure of several causality and hepatitis.

Mutagenesis, Carcinogenesis, and Impairment of Fertility

Albendazole medication has not been reported to have any side effects on the human fertility, either in males or females.

The Usage in Specific Population

Pediatric use: Hydatid diseases are not common in young children and infants. However, in neurocysticercosis, the efficacy of Albendazole in adults appears to be the same to that in children.

Pregnancy category C use: As mentioned earlier, there have been no adequate studies on the administration of Albendazole on pregnant women. In fact, the medication is necessary during pregnancy only if the benefits of the treatment nullify the risks to the fetus. In most cases, the drug is not used unless in a critical situation where there is no appropriate treatment for the patient.

Nursing Mothers: Albendazole is mostly excreted in animal milk. There is no proof that it has yet been excreted in human milk. People understand most drugs are dissolved in milk from humans. Therefore optimal caution should be taken when administering Albendazole medication to any nursing mother.

Renal Dysfunction Patients: The pharmacokinetics of ALBENZA in patients who have renal dysfunction has not yet been studied.

Overdose

In case of a patient overdoses, they could undergo a symptomatic therapy along with undertaking the necessary supportive measures in line with their conditions.

Contraindications

Albendazole is mostly contraindicated in patients who have some hypersensitivity to any compound of the ALBENZA, such as the benzimidazole compound class.

Patient Information

Patients must be advised that some individuals, especially children, may have difficulties in swallowing the Albendazole tablets whole. Therefore they need to get chewable tablets from the chemists or their doctors for children or people with such challenges. They should always take Albendazole with food. Albendazole may cause severe fetal harm, taking a pregnancy test is therefore necessary, especially in women with reproductive potential.

Storage

Albendazole should be stored at room temperature and kept away from moisture, direct light, or heat. The drug can be stored in medicine cabinets, or a well-ventilated cabinet with room temperatures. The storage should also be away from the reach of children.

After the medication period, the bottles or remaining Albendazole tablets must be appropriately disposed of. This also applies to medication that may be expired. Health providers can assist patients with proper disposal guidelines. Don't share your prescription with other people.

Summary

While Albendazole is a significant drug in the health industry, it comes with its risks, especially if poorly administered due to lack of communication between the patient and the doctor. The medicine is a yellowish powder that is soluble in anhydrous formic acid, but insoluble in water or alcohol.

The dosage of Albendazole may differ. The tablets could be either chewed or swallowed with a glass of water. Nevertheless, the medicine should not be taken by a patient who is allergic to Albendazole.

Patients should take this medicine as indicated by their doctor. Read the prescription label before taking medicine. Ignoring the prescription information may put you at risk. Albendazole is taken over a cycle of four weeks, followed by 15 days of not taking the medicine. This is repeated across three cycles.

The drug can lower the number of blood cells in your body, making it easy for you to bleed from an injury or get sick quickly. To maintain the strength of your blood cells, you need to test your blood regularly. Testing your liver function could also be necessary. Consulting with your doctor regarding such facts can assist you in recovering quickly and enable you to regain your healthy lifestyle.