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Albenza (albendazole or albendazolum) is a vermicidal medication used to eliminate parasitic organisms---usually worms---from the body. It is a very potent medication and as such must be used with care; doctor instructions should be explicitly followed.

Albenza is predominantly used to remove the pork tapeworm, Taenia solium, and the dog tapeworm, Echinococcus granulosus, though it is effective in a wide range of other parasites, including:

  • Nematodes (roundworms)
  • Trematodes (flatworms)
  • Encephalitozoon cuniculi, a parasitic fungus
  • Giardia parasites, which cause "beaver fever"
  • Pinworms
  • Tapeworms
  • Hookworms
  • Other parasitic worms

Albenza works within the parasites themselves by inhibiting the ability of their intestinal cells to absorb glucose, depriving them of the nutrition they need to survive and reproduce. Albenza also blocks existing parasites from producing eggs, thus preventing further spread of the parasites. With mature worms eliminated and no more eggs being produced, Albenza finishes the job by ensuring existing eggs are unable to hatch into larvae. No eggs, no larvae, and no adults accomplishes the overall goal of eradicating the parasitic infection.

Eradicating Parasites with Albenza

Parasitic worms can produce a wide range of very broad symptoms, making it difficult to identify worms as the underlying issue. Even when worms are visible in stools or elsewhere, it is typically very difficult for the average person to identify the exact species. In other words, the precise parasite in question is best identified by a doctor---correct identification can be vital in determining treatment.

In addition to identification of the parasite, other personal variables, such as weight and other medical conditions present, can influence dosage and duration of treatment. Treatment can range from one day to several months, to give an idea of how varied it can be.

That said, in its two most common applications of treating treating infections of pork tapeworm and dog tapeworm, treatment can be roughly generalized for otherwise healthy adults. In both cases tablets are typically taken twice a day, with meals.

For hydatid disease (dog tapeworm):

  • The standard dose is 400 mg taken twice per day, for a total daily dose of 800 mg.
  • Treatment should continue for 28 days.
  • After 28 days, treatment should stop for 14 days.
  • This should be repeated for a total of three 28-day cycles.

For neurocysticercosis (pork tapeworm):

  • The standard dose is 400 mg taken twice per day, for a total daily dose of 800 mg.
  • Treatment should continue for 8 to 30 days.

It is important to continue treatment as a doctor has recommended, otherwise the condition may return.

While many patients complete treatment without any ill effects, it's also not uncommon for patients to develop a range of unpleasant symptoms as the medication begins to destroy parasites, including:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Gastric pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue

The above symptoms may be side effects of the medication, but they're also consistent with the death and elimination of parasites regardless of what particular treatment is used to kill them. Either way, if these symptoms become serious enough to be disruptive a doctor should be consulted.


Risks & Warnings

As mentioned above, this is a potent medication that can cause serious complications.

It may impair immune function, increasing risk of infection. Care should be taken to avoid individuals who are sick, regularly wash hands, and otherwise take preventative measures.

The medication can cause easier bruising or bleeding, and slower clotting. Care should be taken to avoid injury and any unnecessary activities that risk injury, such as contact sports, should be avoided.

Patients being treated with Albenza for neurocysticercosis, which is an infection of the nervous system, should also be treated with corticosteroids and anticonvulsants to avoid potential neural complications such as hypertension, seizures, and pressure on the brain.

Albenza can cause serious harm to unborn babies. It should not be used while pregnant or breastfeeding, and women should take care to use effective birth control for the duration of treatment and at least one month after treatment ends.


400mg albendazole  Buy ALBENZA 10 Tablets - $12.99
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Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional.

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