What is albendazole?
Albendazole is an anthelmintic (an-thel-MIN-tik) or anti-worm medication. It prevents newly hatched insect larvae (worms) from growing or multiplying in your body.
Albendazole is used to treat certain infections caused by worms such as pork tapeworm and dog tapeworm.
Albendazole may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Albendazole may harm an unborn baby. Use effective birth control while taking albendazole and for at least 3 days after your last dose.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to albendazole, or to similar drugs such as mebendazole.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- eye problems (especially a problem with your retina);
- liver disease; or
- bone marrow suppression.
Albendazole may harm an unborn baby. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while taking this medicine and for at least 3 days after your last dose. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant.
You may need to have a negative pregnancy test before starting this treatment.
It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.
How should I take albendazole?
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Take with food.
If you cannot swallow the tablet whole, you may crush or chew it and swallow with a full glass of water.
You may be given other medicines to prevent certain side effects of albendazole, or certain effects that can result when the parasites die within your body.
Albendazole doses are based on weight (especially in children and teenagers). Your dose needs may change if you gain or lose weight.
Use albendazole for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms quickly improve. Skipping doses can increase your risk of infection that is resistant to medication. Albendazole will not treat a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold.
Albendazole can increase your risk of bleeding or infection. You will need frequent medical tests.
Your liver function may also need to be checked every 2 weeks.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Detailed Albendazole dosage information
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking albendazole?
Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.
Albendazole side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- fever, chills, sore throat, mouth sores, feeling light-headed;
- a seizure; or
- increased pressure inside the skull–severe headaches, ringing in your ears, dizziness, nausea, vision problems, pain behind your eyes.
Common side effects may include:
- headache, neck stiffness, increased sensitivity to light, confusion;
- nausea, vomiting, stomach pain;
- abnormal liver function tests;
- dizziness, spinning sensation; or
- temporary hair loss.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect albendazole?
Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.
Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:
- praziquantel; or
This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect albendazole, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.
Albendazole drug interactions (more detail)