Generic name: Albendazole.
Albenza is an anthelmintic, a medication that destroys parasitic worms. It works by circulating throughout the bloodstream until it can be broken down by the liver, which then passes it out of the body through the intestines.
Quick Facts About Albenza
Used to fight nervous system infections caused by forms of the pork tapeworm. Also used in place of or in addition to surgery for cysts in the liver, lung, and belly caused by a form of the dog tapeworm.
Take with a high-fat meal (at least 40 grams of fat) to improve absorption of drug into bloodstream. Take exactly as prescribed.
- Usual adult dose: for adults weighing 130 pounds and over — 400 milligrams taken twice a day. For adults weighing under 130 pounds — two doses daily, totaling approximately 7 milligrams per pound of body weight, and not exceeding 800 milligrams total. For dog tapeworm disease—prescribed dose taken for 28 days, then stopped for 14 days; repeat this cycle three times in a row. For pork tapeworm disease— prescribed dose taken for 8 to 30 days.
- Usual child dose: follow the recommended dose schedule for adults according to weight of the child.
- Missed dose: take as soon as possible, unless almost time for next dose. In that case, do not take missed dose; go back to regular schedule. Do not double doses.
Albenza Side Effects
No serious cases reported. However, if you suspect an overdose, immediately seek medical attention.
More common side effects: abdominal pain, headache, liver inflammation, nausea, vomiting.
Less common Albenza side effects: dizziness, fainting, hair loss (which reverses when the medicine is stopped), increased pressure in the head. Rare side effects: decreases in blood-cell counts, drug allergy, fever, itching, kidney failure, skin rash.
Inform your doctor before combining Albenza with:
Most effective when taken with a high-fat meal (at least 40 grams of fat).
If pregnant or planning to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately; could cause birth defects. Pregnant women should not take Albenza unless no other treatments are available. Women who are not pregnant must take precautions to avoid pregnancy while taking Albenza and for I month after finishing the medication. Not known if Albenza appears in breast milk; could affect a nursing infant.
No special precautions apply to seniors.
Not generally prescribed for children under 6 years.
- Take with fatty foods; Albenza is poorly absorbed Viif from the gastrointestinal tract on its own or with low-fat foods.
- Should not be used in place of surgery unless surgery not available or recommended.
- Your doctor should closely monitor liver function and blood count while you are taking Albenza.
- Steroid and anticonvulsant therapy should be administered in conjunction with Albenza therapy for nervous system infections as required.
- Use with caution if you have a history of abnormal liver function.
- Use with caution if you have had retinal lesions before beginning Albenza therapy for nervous system infections; may cause retinal damage.
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