Benznidazole is used to treat Chagas disease (caused by a parasite) in children 2 to 12 years old. Benznidazole is in a class of medications called antiprotozoals. It works by killing the organism that can cause Chagas disease.
Benznidazole comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken with or without food twice a day for 60 days. Take benznidazole at around the same times every day and space your doses about 12 hours apart. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take benznidazole exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
The benznidazole 100-mg tablets are scored so that they can easily be split into halves or quarters. If your doctor has told you to take only part of a tablet, hold the tablet between your thumb and index fingers close to the scored line and apply pressure to separate the number of parts needed for the dose. Only use a portion of a tablet that has been broken at the scored line.
If you are unable to swallow the tablets whole, you may dissolve them in water. Place the prescribed number of tablets (or portions of tablets) into a drinking cup. Add the amount of water as told by your doctor or pharmacist into the cup. Wait 1 to 2 minutes to allow the tablets to disintegrate in the cup, then gently shake the cup contents to mix. Drink the mixture immediately. Then rinse the cup with an additional amount of water as told by your doctor and drink the entire amount. Drink all of this mixture to be sure that you receive all of the medication.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient.
Benznidazole is also sometimes used to treat Chagas disease in children older than 12 years of age and adults up to 50 years old who do not have advanced Chagas disease. 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 benznidazole,
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.
Benznidazole 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, stop this medication and call your doctor immediately:
Benznidazole 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).
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
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.
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 certain lab tests to check your body's response to benznidazole.
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.
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.
Selected Revisions: November 15, 2017.