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Systematic (IUPAC) name
Methyl [6-(propylthio)-1H-benzoimidazol-2-yl]carbamate
CAS number 54965-21-8
ATC code P02CA03 QP52AC11
PubChem CID 2082
DrugBank DB00518
ChemSpider 1998
Chemical data
Formula Template:OrganicBox atomTemplate:OrganicBox atomTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBox atomTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBox atomTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBox atomTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBox 
Mol. mass 265.333 g/mol
SMILES eMolecules & PubChem
Pharmacokinetic data
Metabolism oxidation of sulfur atom to sulfoxide, the active metabolite
Half-life About 8.5 hours
Therapeutic considerations
Pregnancy cat. D
Legal status prescription
Routes only oral route
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Albendazole, marketed as Albenza, Eskazole, Zentel and Andazol, is a member of the benzimidazole compounds used as a drug indicated for the treatment of a variety of worm infestations. Although this use is widespread in the United States, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved albendazole for this indication. It is marketed by GlaxoSmithKline. Albendazole was first discovered at the SmithKline Animal Health Laboratories in 1972. It is a broad spectrum anthelmintic, effective against: roundworms, tapeworms, and flukes of domestic animals and humans.[1]


Main uses

It is effective first line of treatment against:

  • Flatworms
    • Flukes/trematodes
    • Tapeworm/cestodes
      • Echinococcosis[2]
  • Nematodes
    • Hookworms
    • Roundworms
    • Whipworms

Other uses

File:Web 090308-N-0506A-393 albendazole.jpg
Discarded bottles of albendazole distributed in Africa

In Africa, albendazole (donated by GlaxoSmithKline) is being used to treat lymphatic filariasis as part of efforts to stop transmission of the disease.[3] In sub-Saharan Africa, albendazole is used in conjunction with ivermectin, and elsewhere in the world, the medicine is used in combination with diethylcarbamazine.[3]

In Brazil and other countries it is used against giardiasis[4].


Mode of action

As a vermicidal, albendazole causes degenerative alterations in the tegument and intestinal cells of the worm by binding to the colchicine-sensitive site of tubulin, thus inhibiting its polymerization or assembly into microtubules. The loss of the cytoplasmic microtubules leads to impaired uptake of glucose by the larval and adult stages of the susceptible parasites, and depletes their glycogen stores. Degenerative changes in the endoplasmic reticulum, the mitochondria of the germinal layer, and the subsequent release of lysosomes result in decreased production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the energy required for the survival of the helminth. Due to diminished energy production, the parasite is immobilized and eventually dies.

Albendazole also has been shown to inhibit the enzyme fumarate reductase, which is helminth-specific. This action may be considered secondary to the effect on the microtubules due to the decreased absorption of glucose. This action occurs in the presence of reduced amounts of nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide in reduced form (NADH), which is a coenzyme involved in many cellular oxidation-reduction reactions.

Albendazole has larvicidal effects in necatoriasis and ovicidal effects in ascariasis, ancylostomiasis, and trichuriasis.


Hydatid disease

  • Patients 60 kg or greater: 400 mg twice daily, with meals.
  • Patients less than 60 kg: 15 mg/kg/day given in divided doses twice daily with meals (maximum total daily dose 800 mg).
  • Treatment interval: 28-day cycle followed by a 14-day albendazole-free interval, for a total of 3 cycles.

NOTE: When administering albendazole in the pre- or post-surgical setting, optimal killing of cyst contents is achieved when 3 courses of therapy have been given.


  • Patients 60 kg or greater: 400 mg twice daily, with meals.
  • Patients less than 60 kg: 15 mg/kg/day given in divided doses twice daily with meals (maximum total daily dose 800 mg).
  • Treatment interval: 8–30 days.

Note: Patients being treated for neurocysticercosis should receive appropriate steroid and anticonvulsant therapy as required. Oral or intravenous corticosteroids should be considered to prevent cerebral hypertensive episodes during the first week of treatment.


Single dose of 400 mg. For Filariaris, note that Albendazole kills the adult worms - which if taken continuously can lead to damage in the lymphatic system.

Side effects

Albendazole may cause dizziness, headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, or temporary hair loss.

In rare cases it may cause persistent sore throat, severe headache, seizures, vision problems, yellowing eyes or skin, dark urine, stomach pain, easy bruising, mental/mood changes, very stiff neck, change in amount of urine. Allergic reactions are also possible.

CBC and hepatic functions have to be obtained regularly in patients receiving albendazole.

Drug interactions


The drugs carbamazepine, phenytoin and phenobarbital lower the plasmatic concentration and the half life of albendazole.[5]

Antacids/histamine H2 antagonists

The drug cimetidine heightens serum albendazole concentrations, and increases the half life of albendazole.[6]

This might be a helpful interaction on more severe cases, because it boosts the potency of albendazole.[7]


Hypersensitivity to the benzimidazole class of compounds.

Pregnancy class

D (Australia) - Do not take when pregnant, and do not become pregnant for one month after taking this drug. Pharmacokinetic studies have shown that trace amounts of albendazole appears in semen. Given this potential for teratogenicity, the manufacturers advise that the male sexual partner should also use adequate protection.

See also

  • Mebendazole
  • Eradication of infectious disease
  • Neglected diseases


  1. V.J. Theodorides, at al. Experientia Vol. 32..702, 1976, Anthelminitic Activity of Albendazole Against Liver Flukes, Tapeworms, Lung and Gastrointestinal Roundworms
  2. Horton J (April 2003). "Albendazole for the treatment of echinococcosis". Fundam Clin Pharmacol 17 (2): 205–12. doi:10.1046/j.1472-8206.2003.00171.x. PMID 12667231. http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/resolve/openurl?genre=article&sid=nlm:pubmed&issn=0767-3981&date=2003&volume=17&issue=2&spage=205. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Carter Center. ""Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination Program"". http://www.cartercenter.org/health/lf/index.html. Retrieved 2008-07-17. 
  4. See http://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/10/1215.pdf
  5. Lanchote VL, Garcia FS, Dreossi SA, Takayanagui OM (June 2002). "Pharmacokinetic interaction between albendazole sulfoxide enantiomers and antiepileptic drugs in patients with neurocysticercosis". Therapeutic Drug Monitoring 24 (3): 338–45. doi:10.1097/00007691-200206000-00003. PMID 12021623. http://meta.wkhealth.com/pt/pt-core/template-journal/lwwgateway/media/landingpage.htm?issn=0163-4356&volume=24&issue=3&spage=338. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  6. Schipper, H.G.; Koopmans, R.P.; Nagy, J.; Butter, J.J.; Kager, P.A.; Van Boxtel, C.J. (2000). "Effect of dose increase or cimetidine co-administration on albendazole bioavailability". The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 63 (5): 270–273. PMID 11421376. http://www.ajtmh.org/cgi/content/abstract/63/5/270. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  7. Wen H, Zhang HW, Muhmut M, Zou PF, New RR, Craig PS (February 1994). "Initial observation on albendazole in combination with cimetidine for the treatment of human cystic echinococcosis". Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology 88 (1): 49–52. PMID 8192515. 

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