Health Facts PlusDrug Information: Mebendazole (Systemic)

Health Facts PlusDrug Information:                    Mebendazole  (Systemic)

belongs to the family of medicines called anthelmintics

. Anthelmintics are medicines used in the treatment of worm infections.Mebendazole is used to treat: Common roundworms (ascariasis);

More than one worm infection at a time.

This medicine may also be used for other worm infections as determined by your doctor.Mebendazole works by keeping the worm from absorbing sugar (glucose). This gradually causes loss of energy and death of the worm.Mebendazole is available only with your doctor''s prescription, in the following dosage form: Oral

Chewable tablets (U.S. and Canada)

Before Using This MedicineReturn to top

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For mebendazole, the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to mebendazole. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy—Mebendazole is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It has been shown to cause birth defects and other problems in rats given a single dose, which was several times the usual human dose. However, mebendazole did not cause birth defects or other problems in women who took this medicine during the first 3 months of pregnancy. Be sure you have discussed this with your doctor.

Breast-feeding—It is not known whether mebendazole passes into the breast milk. Although most medicines pass into breast milk in small amounts, many of them may be used safely while breast-feeding. Mothers who are taking this medicine and who wish to breast-feed should discuss this with their doctor.

Children—This medicine has been tested in a limited number of children 2 years of age or older and, in effective doses, has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems in children than it does in adults.

Older adults—Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of mebendazole in the elderly with use in other age groups.

Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your health care professional if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of mebendazole. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially: Crohn''s disease or

Ulcerative colitis—Patients with these diseases may have an increased chance of side effects from mebendazole

Proper Use of This MedicineReturn to top

Mebendazole usually comes with patient directions. Read them carefully before using this medicine.No special preparations or other steps (for example, special diets, fasting, other medicines, laxatives, or enemas) are necessary before, during, or immediately after taking mebendazole.Mebendazole tablets may be chewed, swallowed whole, or crushed and mixed with food.For patients taking mebendazole for hookworms, roundworms, or whipworms: To help clear up your infection completely, take this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor for the full time of treatment. In some patients a second course of this medicine may be required to clear up the infection completely. Do not miss any doses.

For patients taking mebendazole for pinworms: To help clear up your infection completely, take this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. A second course of this medicine is usually required to clear up the infection completely.

Pinworms may be easily passed from one person to another, especially in a household. Therefore, all household members may have to be treated at the same time. This helps to prevent infection or reinfection of other household members. Also, all household members may have to be treated again in 2 to 3 weeks to clear up the infection completely.

For patients taking mebendazole for infections in which high doses are needed:

Mebendazole is best taken with meals, especially fatty ones (for example, meals that include whole milk or ice cream). This helps to clear up the infection by helping your body absorb the medicine better. However, if you are on a low-fat diet, check with your doctor.

Dosing—The dose of mebendazole will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor''s orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of mebendazole. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.The number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are taking mebendazole. For oral dosage form (chewable tablets): For common roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms: Adults and children 2 years of age and over—100 milligrams (mg) two times a day, morning and evening, for three days. Treatment may need to be repeated in two to three weeks.

Children up to 2 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

For pinworms: Adults and children 2 years of age and over—100 mg once a day for one day. Treatment may need to be repeated in two to three weeks.

Children up to 2 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

For more than one worm infection at a time: Adults and children 2 years of age and over—100 mg two times a day, morning and evening, for three days.

Children up to 2 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed dose—If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses. Storage—To store this medicine: Keep out of the reach of children.

Store away from heat and direct light.

Do not store in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.

Precautions While Using This MedicineReturn to top

It is important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits, especially in infections in which high doses are needed. This is to make sure that the infection is cleared up completely and to allow your doctor to check for any unwanted effects.If your symptoms do not improve within a few days, or if they become worse, check with your doctor.For patients taking mebendazole for pinworms: In some patients, pinworms may return after treatment with mebendazole. Washing (not shaking) all bedding and nightclothes (pajamas) after treatment may help to prevent this.

Some doctors may also recommend other measures to help keep your infection from returning. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.

For patients taking mebendazole for hookworms or whipworms : In hookworm and whipworm infections anemia may occur. Therefore, your doctor may want you to take iron supplements to help clear up the anemia. If so, it is important to take iron every day while you are being treated for hookworms or whipworms; do not miss any doses. Your doctor may also want you to keep taking iron supplements for up to 6 months after you stop taking mebendazole. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.

Side Effects of This MedicineReturn to top

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

Abdominal or stomach pain or upset;

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

Copyright 2006 Thomson Healthcare. All rights reserved. USP DI and Advice for the Patient

are registered trademarks of USP used under license to Thomson MICROMEDEX. Information is for End User''s use

only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes.

Other ResourcesCopyright Privacy Accessibility Quality Guidelines U.S. National Library of Medicine, 8600 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20894 National Institutes of Health Department of Health & Human Services