Albenza

Name: Albenza

Why is this medication prescribed?

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.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

Do I need a prescription for albendazole-oral?

Yes

Interactions for Albenza

Induces CYP1A isoenzyme.1

Specific Drugs

Drug

Interaction

Comments

Cimetidine

Increased albendazole sulfoxide concentrations in bile and cystic fluid in hydatid cyst patients receiving cimetidine; plasma concentrations of albendazole sulfoxide unchanged1

Dexamethasone

Increased albendazole trough concentrations1

Praziquantel

Increased plasma concentrations and AUC of albendazole sulfoxide; time to peak concentrations and plasma elimination half-life of albendazole sulfoxide unchanged1

Theophylline

Single albendazole dose does not affect theophylline metabolism; potential for interaction exists since albendazole induces CYP1A1

Monitor theophylline concentrations during and after albendazole therapy1

Stability

Storage

Oral

Tablets

20–25°C.1

How is this medicine (Albenza) best taken?

Use Albenza as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
  • Keep taking this medicine as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
  • Take with food.
  • If you have trouble swallowing, the tablet may be crushed or chewed and swallowed with a drink of water.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

How do I store and/or throw out Albenza?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

Use in specific populations

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category C.

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of Albenza administration in pregnant women. Albenza should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Albenza should not be used in pregnant women except in clinical circumstances where no alternative management is appropriate. Obtain pregnancy test prior to prescribing Albenza to women of reproductive potential. Advise women of reproductive potential to use effective birth control for the duration of Albenza therapy and for one month after end of therapy. If a patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, Albenza should be discontinued immediately. If pregnancy occurs while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus.

Albenza has been shown to be teratogenic (to cause embryotoxicity and skeletal malformations) in pregnant rats and rabbits. The teratogenic response in the rat was shown at oral doses of 10 and 30 mg/kg/day (0.10 times and 0.32 times the recommended human dose based on body surface area in mg/m2, respectively) during gestation days 6 to 15 and in pregnant rabbits at oral doses of 30 mg/kg/day (0.60 times the recommended human dose based on body surface area in mg/m2) administered during gestation days 7 to 19. In the rabbit study, maternal toxicity (33% mortality) was noted at 30 mg/kg/day. In mice, no teratogenic effects were observed at oral doses up to 30 mg/kg/day (0.16 times the recommended human dose based on body surface area in mg/m2), administered during gestation days 6 to 15.

Nursing Mothers

Albenza is excreted in animal milk. It is not known whether it is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when Albenza is administered to a nursing woman.

Pediatric Use

Hydatid disease is uncommon in infants and young children. In neurocysticercosis, the efficacy of Albenza in children appears to be similar to that in adults.

Geriatric Use

In patients aged 65 and older with either hydatid disease or neurocysticercosis, there was insufficient data to determine whether the safety and effectiveness of Albenza is different from that of younger patients.

Patients with Impaired Renal Function

The pharmacokinetics of Albenza in patients with impaired renal function has not been studied.

Patients with Extra-Hepatic Obstruction

In patients with evidence of extrahepatic obstruction (n = 5), the systemic availability of albendazole sulfoxide was increased, as indicated by a 2-fold increase in maximum serum concentration and a 7-fold increase in area under the curve. The rate of absorption/conversion and elimination of albendazole sulfoxide appeared to be prolonged with mean Tmax and serum elimination half-life values of 10 hours and 31.7 hours, respectively. Plasma concentrations of parent Albenza were measurable in only 1 of 5 patients.

What should i discuss with my healthcare provider before taking albendazole (albenza)?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to albendazole, or to similar medications such as mebendazole (Vermox).

If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take this medication. Before using albendazole, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • liver disease; or
  • if you have ever had abnormal liver function tests.

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may cause harm to an unborn baby. Do not use albendazole if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant during treatment. Use an effective form of birth control while you are using albendazole, and for at least 1 month after your treatment ends.

Your doctor may ask you to have a pregnancy test to make sure you are not pregnant before you take albendazole.

It is not known whether albendazole passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

For the Consumer

Applies to albendazole: oral tablet, oral tablet chewable

Along with its needed effects, albendazole (the active ingredient contained in Albenza) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking albendazole:

Less common
  • Fever
Rare
  • Black, tarry stools
  • bleeding gums
  • blood in the urine or stools
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • cough
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • shortness of breath
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • swollen glands
  • ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
Incidence not known
  • Blistering, peeling, loosening of the skin
  • blurred vision
  • dark-colored urine
  • diarrhea
  • general feeling of tiredness or weakness
  • headache
  • itching
  • joint or muscle pain
  • light-colored stools
  • red, irritated eyes
  • seizures
  • stomach pain, continuing
  • tightness in the chest
  • vomiting
  • yellow eyes or skin

Some side effects of albendazole may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
Less common
  • Nausea
Less common or rare
  • Dizziness
  • thinning or loss of the hair
Incidence not known
  • Lack or loss of strength

(web3)