(1999; 58 pages)
Tablet, 200 mg, 400 mg [EDL] chewable tablet
Albendazole is a benzimidazole carbamate anthelminthic which is also active against various protozoa. Albendazole is poorly and variably absorbed from the GI tract but absorption is increased when administered with a fatty meal. It undergoes extensive first pass metabolism. The active principal metabolite has a plasma half-life of about 8.5 hours. It is excreted in the urine.
Treatment and suppression of microsporidial infections
Dosage and administration
Treatment and suppression of microsporidial infections: 400 mg twice a day for four weeks. If the patient relapses after therapy is stopped, it should be assumed that the microsporidia has not been completely cleared and suppressive therapy of 400 mg once a day will be required after the infection has been brought under control with the original treatment dose.
To increase absorption albendazole should be taken with a fatty meal.
Known hypersensitivity; pregnancy
Monitor liver function tests, and full blood count during therapy.
Use in pregnancy
In animal studies albendazole has been found to be teratogenic and therefore should not be used.
Elevations in liver function tests, and reversible reductions in total white cell counts and pancytopenia have been reported. Mild gastrointestinal disturbances, headaches, dizziness, alopecia (limited to thinning of the hair) have also been reported.
Albendazole has been shown to induce liver enzymes of the cytochrome P450 system responsible for its own metabolism. Therefore, there is a theoretical risk of interaction with theophylline, anticonvulsants, oral contraceptives, and oral hypoglycaemic agents.
There is no experience of overdosage. Gastric lavage may be performed in the first two to three hours after ingestion. No specific antidote is known.
Tablets should be stored in tightly closed containers protected from light.