Albenza (generic name: albendazole) is a broad spectrum anti-parasitic activity drug (anthelminthic), which is a benzimidazole derivative used to treat worm infections. It was created by the SmithKline in 1972 and became one of the most effective and popular anti-parasite oral treatment. The drug is prescribed to treat wide range of infections caused by worms in the muscles, brain, and eyes. This kind of infections may cause serious vision disorders, seizures and brain swelling. The drug is also helps patients with surgery to fight cystic hydatid disease (human infection caused by the dog tapeworm that damages the lung, liver and lining of the abdomen). Albenza was mentioned in House MD series. The patient was prescribed 400 mg tablets x 4weeks.
Mechanism of action.
The drug works by inhibiting tubulin polymerization. It was also found to be a specific inhibitor of fumarate reductase in worms. It does not let worms to absorb glucose, causing energy loss and death of the parasite. Albenza is highly effective against nematodes: human pinworm, human whipworms, roundworms, human duodenum hookworm, intestinal tract hookworm and certain tapeworms. It is prescription medication. It is not available over the counter (without a prescription). Pharmacokinetics.
When administrated orally, it is poorly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, its unmodified form is not determined in the plasma, as rapidly converted in the liver into a primary metabolite – albendazole sulfoxide also having anthelmintic activity. This anthelmintic has low bioavailability. Admission of fatty food increases the absorption and maximum concentration (CMax) up to 5 times. Time to CMax of albendazole sulfoxide is 2-5 hours. It associates with plasma proteins up to 70%. The drug almost completely distributes throughout the body, is found in urine, bile, hepatic cyst wall in cystic fluid, cerebrospinal fluid. The drug penetrates the walls of the cyst fluid of parasites. It is excreted in the urine and bile.
The drug is used for worm infestations, including nematodes:
- neurocysticercosis, caused by Taenia solium (the larval form of pork tapeworm)
- hydatid disease of the liver, lung, peritoneum, caused by Echinococcus granulosus (the larval form of the dog tapeworm) as an aid in the surgical treatment of cysts
- hookworm disease
- mixed helminth infections
In the U.S., Albenza is approved by the FDA only for the treatment of cysticercosis.
Contraindications In pregnant women
Potential use of the anthelmintic should be limited to the first week of menstruation. This medication should not by applied to children under 2 years of age unless it is prescribed by doctor.
Concurrent use of dexamethasone, praziquantel or cimetidine increases the plasma concentrations of albendazole.
The side effects
Adverse reactions during treatment with Albenza is minimal. The most common are: – headaches, dyspepsiaelevated liver enzymesleukopenia, granulocytopenia, rarely – pancytopenia. The disintegration of the armed tapeworm blackheads can cause allergic reactions.
Specific antidote is not known. In the case of overdose use activated charcoal. If necessary apply gastric lavage and symptomatic treatment.
Use during pregnancy and lactation
Albenza has harmful effects on the fetus and causes developmental defects. In the course of treatment and 4 weeks after the end should use effective methods of contraception, and pre-treatment pregnancy test. Caution is recommended during breast-feeding.
Dosage and administration
Albenza tablets are administrated orally, during a meal or after. Do not chew tablets. The use of laxatives and a special diet during the treatment is not required. It is recommended to apply concurrent treatment with this drug to all family members. The dosages are set individually depending on the helminth type and patient weight.
The use of albendazole in children under to 2 years:
- cysticercosis (neurocysticercosis) – tissue infection after exposure to eggs of the pork tapeworm: 15 mg/kg daily for 8 days, repeated if necessary
- hookworm, helminthiasis (macroparasitic disease of humans and animals): single dose of albendazole 200mg, if necessary, repeat after 3 weeks
- strongyloidiasis (human parasitic disease caused by the nematode roundworm) and cestodiasis (intestinal infection by a species of parasitic tapeworm): albendazole 200 mg 1 time a day for 3 days, if necessary, repeat after 3 weeks
The use of albenza in children older than 2 years and adults:
- neurocysticercosis and hydatid disease: patients weighing 60 kg or more prescribed 400 mg of albendazole 2 times / day, if your weight is less than 60 kg – use the dose set at 15 mg / kg / day, divided into 2 doses, maximum daily dose – 800 mg.
- A course of treatment for neurocysticercosis is 8-30 days, with hydatid cyst – 3 cycles of 28 days with a 14-day interval between cycles.
- Ascariasis, trichuriasis, and hookworm enterobiasis: single dose 400 mg, if necessary, repeat after 3 weeks.
- Strongyloidiasis and cestodiasis: 400 mg 1 time a day for 3 days, if necessary, repeat after 3 weeks.
- Giardiasis: 400 mg 1 time per day for three days or a rate of 10-15 mg / kg 1 once daily for 5-7 days.
- Toxocariasis: Adults and children over 14 years of age with a body weight over 60 kg should use a dose of 400 mg, with a body weight less than 60 kg – 200 mg for children under the age of 14 years set the dose rate of 10 mg/kg, the multiplicity of the reception 2 times a day, the duration of treatment 7-14 days.