Albendazole tablets, film-coated

 Medical uses[edit]Albendazole is an effective treatment for:FlatwormsFasciolosis[3]Cestodes (tapeworms), as an alternative to praziquantel or niclosamide for adult beef tapeworms (Taenia saginata) and as an alternative to praziquantel for pork tapeworms (T. solium).[9] It is also given for infections by T. crassiceps.[10]

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Albendazole Tablet, Film Coated
Albendazole Tablet, Film Coated
 

Medical uses[edit]

Albendazole is an effective treatment for:

  • Flatworms
    • Fasciolosis[3]
    • Cestodes (tapeworms), as an alternative to praziquantel or niclosamide for adult beef tapeworms (Taenia saginata) and as an alternative to praziquantel for pork tapeworms (T. solium).[9] It is also given for infections by T. crassiceps.[10] Though praziquantel is often better at treating tapeworm infections, albendazole is used more often in endemic countries due to being cheaper and having a broader spectrum.[11]
      • Cysticercosis[12] (especially neurocysticercosis), which is caused by the larval form of the pork tapeworm[3] (i.e. albendazole is the drug of choice for larval pork tapeworms, but not adult pork tapeworms).[9] Old cysts are not affected.[11]
      • Hydatic disease (aka echinococcosis)[12][13] of the liver, lung, and peritoneum (caused by the larval form of the dog tapeworm, Echinococcus granulosus) or of the alveoli (caused by E. multilocularis) when surgical excision is not possible.[3] Some suggest that alveolar and cystic echinococcosis require lifelong treatment with albendazole, which only prevents the parasites from growing and reproducing rather than killing them outright.[14]
  • Nematodes
    • Ascariasis, which can be cured with a single dose of albendazole.[15][16]
    • Baylisascariasis, caused by the raccoon roundworm. Corticosteroids are sometimes added in cases of eye and CNS infections.[3]
    • Enterobiasis (pinworm infection)[15]
    • Filariasis; since albendazole's disintegration of the microfilarie ("pre-larva") can cause an allergic reaction, antihistamines or corticosteroids are sometimes added to treatment. In cases of lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis) caused by Wuchereria bancrofti or Brugia malayi, albendazole is sometimes given as an adjunct to ivermectin or diethylcarbamazine in order to suppress microfilaremia. It can also be given for loa loa filariasis as an adjunct or replacement to diethylcarbamazine.[3][11] Albendazole has an embryotoxic effect on Loa loa adults and thus slowly reduces microfilaremia.[16]
    • Gnathostomiasis when caused by Gnathostoma spinigerum.[3] Albendazole has a similar effectiveness to ivermectin in these cases, though it needs to be given for 21 days rather than the 2 days needed for ivermectin.[14]
    • Gongylonemiasis[3]
    • Hookworm infections,[15] including cutaneous larva migrans caused by hookworms in the genus Ancylostoma. A single dose of albendazole is sufficient to treat intestinal infestations by A. duodenale or Necator americanus[3][16]
    • Intestinal capillariasis,[15] as an alternative to mebendazole[3]
    • Mansonelliasis when caused by Mansonella perstans. Albendazole works against the adult worms but not against the younger microfilariae.[14]
    • Oesophagostomumiasis, when caused by Oesophagostomum bifurcum[3]
    • Strongyloidiasis,[15] as an alternative to ivermectin or thiabendazole[3][17] Albendazole can be given with diethylcarbamazine to lower microfilaremia levels.[16]
    • Toxocariasis, also called "visceral larva migrans", when caused by the dog roundworm Toxocara canis or cat roundworm T. catis. Corticosteroids can be added in severe cases, and surgery might be required to repair secondary damage.[3]
    • Trichinosis, when caused by Trichinella spiralis[9] or T. pseudospiralis. Albendazole has a similar efficacy to thiabendazole, but fewer side effects.[14] It works best when given early, acting on the adult worms in the intestine before they generate larva that can penetrate the muscle and cause a more widespread infection. Corticosteroids are sometimes added on to prevent inflammation caused by dying larva.[11]
    • Trichostrongyliasis, as an alternative to pyrantel pamoate.[3][15] A single dose is sufficient for treatment.[11]
    • Trichuriasis (whipworm infection),[15] sometimes considered as an alternative to mebendazole[3][9] and sometimes considered to be the drug of choice. Only a single dose of albendazole is needed.[16] It can also be given with ivermectin.[18]
  • Giardiasis, as an alternative or adjunct to metronidazole, especially in children[3][19]
  • Microsporidiosis, including ocular microsporidiosis caused by Encephalitozoon hellem or E. cuniculi, when combined with topical fumagillin[3][19]
  • Granulomatous amoebic encephalitis, when caused by the ameba Balamuthia mandrillaris, in combination with miltefosine and fluconazole[10]
  • Arthropods
    • Crusted scabies, when combined with topical crotamiton and salicylic acid[10]
    • Head lice infestation, though ivermectin is much better[10]
    • Intestinal myiasis[20]

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