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General Information
Brand names and manufacturer
Type: OTC/Prescription/schedule
Pronunciation

Uses
 
What should I know before taking this drug
 
Precautions
 
Dosage information
  
Adverse reactions
 
Storage
 
Additional information if any
 
 
 
Combantrin (Pfizer)
Gekare (GSK)
 
Albendazole is a prescription drug available from your pharmacy store only with the prescription of a qualified medical practitioner.
 
Albendazole is pronounced as: al-BEN-da-zole.
 
Albendazole is a anti-infective drug belongs to a broad spectrum antihelminthics group.
 
Albendazole is used in the treatment of following parasitic infection
  • Acariasis
  • Hydatid disease of the liver, lung
  • Trichinosis
  • Pinworm infection
  • Neurocysticercosis
  • Tapeworm infestation
  • Giardiasis
  • Take albendazole exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.
  • Take oral dose with or immediately after meal with a full glass (8 ounces) of water.
  • In case of hydatid cyst of liver, neurocysticercosis you may be required to take albendazole medication for few weeks with medication free interval in between the course. Follow the schedule as advised by your doctor for complete cure of the disease and prevent disease recurrence.
  • Do not skip any doses. Continue to take it even when you feel better. You must complete the entire course of medication. If you don't, the infection will not clear completely and may cause recurrence.
  • Always remember to inform your health expert if you are currently taking any prescription drugs like theophyline, cimetidine, dexamethasone, Praziquantil or OTC
  • Inform your doctor if you have following medical conditions as Albendazole should be used cautiously  in the below mentioned conditions
    1. Liver diseases
    2. Visual disturbances( retinal problem)
    3. Low blood counts
Albendazole should not be taken if you are hypersensitive to this or if you have liver disease.
 

What are the precautions I should follow for albendazole?

Children: Safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed in children. Albendazole should be used in children under less than one year old under doctor supervision.


Old people:

Pregnant woman: Albendazole belongs to FDA pregnancy category C. This means that albendazole may harm an unborn baby if used during pregnancy but potential benefit may warrant use of the drug in pregnant woman despite potential risks. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or are planning for conception.

Lactating women: It is not known whether albendazole passes into breast milk or if it could harm the baby. Do not take albendazole with out first talking to doctor if you are breast feeding baby.
 
Other: Consult your doctor regarding birth control measures to be adopted while on albendazole medication. Effective form of birth control is required while taking albendazole and for atleast one month after you stop taking albendazole.
 
You are required to undergo complete blood counts and liver function test periodically to look for side effects.
 
It is available in the form tablet and suspension; your doctor will prescribe depending upon the severity of the disease.
 
Use as directed by your physician, your physician prescribes depending on the severity of disease.
 
Use the complete course of medication as prescribed by your physician even though you feel better after one or two days of usage of medication.
 
If it is almost the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at same time to cover up the missed dose.
 
In case of overdose contact your nearest poison control centre or emergency medical centre for immediate care by physician.
Over dose symptoms for albendazole are not known.
 
Albendazole is usually well tolerated drug. However, you may experience the following side effects
  • Dizziness.
  • Nausea and vomiting. 
  • Abdominal pain. 
  • Headache.
Consult you doctor immediately if you experience the following adverse effects
  • Allergic reaction like swollen lips, shortness of breath, constricting sensation in the throat etc
  • Persistent and severe headache
  • Fever
  • Jaundice
  • Neutropenia
  • Alopecia
  • Easy bruising and bleeding 
Store albendazole at room temp (15 – 30 degrees C). Avoid excessive heat, moisture or direct sunlight, never store in the bathroom.
Keep it out of reach of children. Make sure that any left over portion is disposed off safely.
 
Albendazole can cause dizziness. Therefore avoid activities which require you to be alert. Alcohol may increase this effect. Therefore avoid alcohol when on albendazole medication.
 
Strict hygienic measures and simultaneous treatment of all affected children in the family is advocated to cut down auto infection and person to person infection.
 
When Albendazole is used for prolonged period as in neurocysticercosis your doctor may add steroid before starting the treatment and continue it for few weeks to minimise the reaction caused due to release of substances from the killed cysticerus larva.

it is imp to read manufacturing packaging instruction carefully if available and always do not hesitate to consult pharmacist or physician for any information.

Written by: Healthplus24 team
Date last modified: july 8, 2011