Albenza is a reliable medication available as 200 mg standard tablets and approved by the FDA to treat the following parasitic infections:
Cystic hydatid disease of the lung, liver, and peritoneum resulted by dog tapeworm larvae;
Parenchymal neurocysticercosis caused by the active lesion and pork tapeworm larvae.
This medication also has off-label uses because doctors often prescribe it to treat different infections caused by other parasites.
Possible Albenza Side Effects
They happen rarely, and most of them are mild. When taking this medicine, a few patients may experience the following side effects:
Stomach pain and liver problems;
Vomiting and nausea;
Dizziness and headache;
Meningeal signs and fever;
Increased intracranial pressure;
Reversible hair thinning and loss.
If any of these unwanted symptoms get worse, it’s necessary to call your doctor at once. Furthermore, there are some very rare severe side effects that can be resulted by this treatment, including:
Blood disorders and itching;
Allergic reactions and skin rash;
Bone marrow suppression and aplastic anemia;
Acute liver failure and kidney failure;
Reduced white blood cell count;
Severe skin reactions and hepatitis.
If you notice any of these troubling symptoms, report them to your doctor, stop taking Albenza and get emergency help when needed.
Recommended Albenza Doses
The right dosing of this medication depends on a specific parasitic infection that must be treated. For young children, tablets can be chewed, crushed and swallowed, while adult patients are advised to take this medication with meals. To treat hydatid disease, it’s necessary to take Albenza for 28 days, and regular doses are calculated based on the body weight of each patient. To treat neurocysticercosis, the right duration of any treatment ranges from 8 days to 1 month. Most patients are prescribed with corticosteroids and anticonvulsants, too, and their regular doses also depend on their body weight. When it comes to pediatric patients, they doses vary, and they can be prescribed only by qualified doctors.
Mechanism of Action
How does Albenza work? This medication is an oral anthelmintic agent with a broad spectrum of action. It’s often taken to eradicate different parasitic worms from the human body, and it’s very effective when treating different infections caused by a number of parasites, including roundworm, pork tapeworm, threadworm and others.
After its oral administration, its active ingredient prevents the formation of microtubules in the cells of parasites. They are found in both host and parasite cells, because they are necessary for their survival. They serve different functions, including organizing intracellular structures, cell division and intracellular transport. Albenza works by effectively destroying these microtubules, and that’s why it was approved by the FDA to treat parasitic infections 20 years ago.