Albendazole is used to treat neurocysticercosis (infection caused by the pork tapeworm in the muscles, brain, and eyes that may cause seizures, brain swelling, and vision problems). Albendazole is also used along with surgery to treat cystic hydatid disease (infection caused by the dog tapeworm in the liver, lung, and lining of the abdomen that may damage these organs). Albendazole is in a class of medications called antihelmintics. It works by killing the worms.
Albendazole comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken with food twice a day. When albendazole is used to treat neurocysticercosis, it is usually taken for 8 to 30 days. When albendazole is used to treat cystic hydatid disease, it is usually taken for 28 days, followed by a 14-day break, and repeated for a total of three cycles. Take albendazole at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take albendazole exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
If you are giving the medication to a child or if you cannot swallow the tablets whole, you may crush or chew the tablets and swallow with a drink of water.
Take albendazole until you finish the prescription, even if you feel better. If you stop taking albendazole too soon or skip doses, your infection may not be completely treated.
Albendazole is also sometimes used to treat infections caused by roundworms, hookworms, threadworm, whipworm, pinworm, flukes, and other parasites (a plant or animal that lives within another living organism to receive some benefit). Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication for your condition.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before taking albendazole,
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Albendazole may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS section, call your doctor immediately:
Albendazole may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( Web Site) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website ( Web Site) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. Web Site
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at Web Site. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order an eye exam before beginning your treatment. Your doctor will also order certain lab tests to check your body's response to albendazole.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.