Albendazole is an anthelmintic drug used mainly for the treatment of tapeworms. It is also commonly used for the case management of diseases such as hydatid as well as neuro-cysticercosis. Dosages of this med are based on your clinical condition, age as well as how well your body responds to the initial doses. The prescribing doctor may recommend regular intake of this drug for 3 to 4 weeks. This drug is generally considered as safe for most people. However, a few users have experienced some undesired reactions and side effects. It is important to know the likely side effects before starting your medication plan.

Albendazole may trigger a few adverse side effects. Common among them are abdominal problems such as pain, cramping of muscles, vomiting and nausea. Some users have also experienced migraines as well as headaches; in some people, loss of hair has been noticed. However, loss of hair is only a short term discomfort. You may witness regrowth of hair once you stop taking this drug. It is not recommended to discontinue taking this anthelmintic drug upon experiencing one or more of these side effects. It is important to remember that the physician has administered this drug to you as its benefits far exceed the risks of its likely side effects. The good news however is – most users of albendazole never reported any major side effects or adverse reactions.

Serious side effects of albendazole

The abovementioned discomforts and side effects are relatively minor. In some remote instances, a few people witnessed acute reactions and very adverse side effects. These can include blurring of eyesight, episodes of acute pain in the lower abdomen, excessive levels of weariness, internal bleeding as well as bruising. A few other acute side effects include symptoms of infections – such as soreness of throat, tremors or increase in body temperature; it is also likely to witness stiffening of muscles of the neck. A few people have also noticed early signs of likely renal dysfunction; these signs include discoloration of urine, altered output of urine, etc.

Allergies triggered by the intake of albendazole

It is very unlikely that this drug may cause any major allergies or hypersensitivity. But, if you have any prior allergies to anthelmintic drugs such as those belonging to the “azole” genre, needful details must be shared with your medical team. In remote cases, some users have witnessed allergies like itchiness, hives or rashes on skin, respiratory problems such as wheezing, gasping or shortening of breathing cycles, acute spell of drowsiness, swelling of oral organs like throat, lips and tongue.

How to treat the side effects of albendazole?

It is important to note that the above list of side effects and allergies do not constitute a complete list of all such discomforts. It is hence possible to experience a few unknown or unlisted side effects – i.e., apart from those mentioned above. In such instances you are advised to seek medical attention on an emergency basis. Those living in the US are advised to call 911 as quickly as possible or you may also reach out to the helpline contacts of the food and drug administration (FDA) for immediate medical help. Residents of Canada can consider calling Health Canada for quick clinical attention; Canadians can also establish quick contact with a poison control center located closer to your home.

Prescription of alternative drugs

There are a few drugs like ivermectin, mebendazole, praziquantel, etc. which also belong to the anthelmintic genre of medications. If your side effects are continuing for a longer span of time, your treating physician may advise intake of one of these alternatives.
Ivermectin is used for the treatment of roundworms. This drug immobilizes macro-parasites such as worms. Soon these roundworms and other parasites are eliminated from your body. Your doctor needs to know if you are taking drugs such as barbiturates and if you have any hepatic disorders such as hepatitis (inflammation of the liver) or cirrhosis of the liver.

Mebendazole is a vermicide. It inhibits the hatching of larva of macro-parasites in your body. It is known to be effective against infestations of pinworms, roundworms, whipworms and hookworms. It is however important to tell your doctor about prior allergies or hypersensitivity to this drug. This drug may harm your fetus; so, if you are planning to become pregnant or if you are already pregnant, you need to inform your physician about your medical condition. In general, it is highly recommended to take needful birth control measures while consuming this anthelmintic medication.

Praziquantel is not administered if your clinical history includes conditions like fits, convulsions, erratic heartbeats and severe liver conditions like hepatitis or cirrhosis of the liver; in such instances, you need to keep your doctor informed of all such medical problems. This drug has the capabilities to treat infections caused by flukes. It immobilizes or paralyses such parasites. Upon being paralyzed or immobilized, flukes will relax their firm grip on your blood vessels. This action makes them get eliminated from your body, along with the discharge of stool.

Some of these alternatives may in turn trigger some side effects. Common among them are drowsiness and body pain. Your doctor may tell you not to perform activities that may require high level of focus and concentration. For instance, it is also not a safe practice to work with heavy machinery or drive vehicles.

In sum, albendazole – an anthelmintic drug – is known to trigger a few side effects. A few common side effects are abdominal discomforts like pain in the lower abdomen, muscular cramps, nausea and vomiting. In general, these side effects may disappear on their own once your body gets used to the active ingredients of albendazole. Hence, it is not a good practice to stop using this drug upon witnessing one of these side effects. It is essential to know that your treating doctor has prescribed this medicine because its benefits outweigh the potential risks of adverse reactions and side effects. In case of persistence of side effects, your doctor may alter the treatment plan by prescribing alternatives to albendazole. Above all, you are advised to consult your treating physician or pharmacist if you witness any serious side effects like inflammation, breathing troubles or skin conditions.

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