ALBENDAZOLE: Drug: Albendazole
Brand names: Albenza, Eskazole, Zentel

Use: Albendazole is an anthelmintic drug used to treat a variety of parasitic worm infections. It is primarily used to treat infections caused by tapeworms, including cystic hydatid disease of the liver, lung, and peritoneum, and neurocysticercosis caused by the pork tapeworm. It may also be used in the treatment of other worm infections, such as ascariasis, trichuriasis, and hookworm infections.

Mechanism of Action: Albendazole works by inhibiting the synthesis of microtubules in parasitic cells, leading to impaired glucose uptake and depletion of glycogen stores. This disrupts the parasite’s energy metabolism, immobilizes and kills the parasites, and eventually eliminates them from the body.

Dose: The dosing of albendazole depends on the specific infection being treated. The recommended adult dose for most infections is a single oral dose of 400 mg, usually taken with food. However, for neurocysticercosis, the recommended dose is 400 mg twice daily for 8 to 30 days. For cystic hydatid disease, the dosage may be higher and the treatment can last for several months. Pediatric dosing will depend on the child’s weight and the specific infection being treated. It is advised to consult a healthcare professional for proper dosing instructions.

Side Effects: Common side effects of albendazole include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headache, dizziness, and temporary hair loss. In some cases, it may cause elevated liver enzyme levels, liver dysfunction, or allergic reactions. Severe side effects are rare but may include bone marrow suppression or allergic reactions like rash, itching, or swelling. If any severe or persistent side effects occur, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

Albendazole may interact with certain medications, including certain anti-epileptic drugs and drugs that increase liver enzyme activity. It is important to inform the healthcare provider about all current medications before starting albendazole.

Note: This is a general overview of albendazole, and it is important to consult a healthcare professional or read the medication package insert for specific dosing instructions, precautions, and potential drug interactions.

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