1 July 2017
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General Info: Uses and Effects
Infections caused by parasites such as worms are common in children, as well as in adults. Every ninth or tenth person suffered some kind of infestation caused by parasites, and this disease is common in children of school age.
Eggs of parasites can be easily transmitted from one person to another. While the person scratches the infected part of the body, microscopic worm eggs remain under nails. Due to the irregular hygiene of hands, by touching the surfaces with which they come in contact, the eggs become available to other people. With their hands, they can transfer eggs to mouth and thus the infection spreads.
The active substance Albendazole or Albenza, by brand name, is used to treat neurocysticercosis, infections of the nervous system caused by parasites that can be found in food, mostly pork and veal meat. This medicine is also used to treat the cystic hydatid disease of the liver, lungs, and the infections caused by animal parasites Echinococcus granulosus.
The presence of these parasites in the nervous system can cause not only unpleasant symptoms such as a headache, dizziness, and nausea but also more severe symptoms such as brain inflammation, epileptic seizures, and paralysis.
Contraindication: Important to Know
Albenza Generic is most commonly used in the treatment of nerve infections caused by tapeworms. Albendazole inhibits the polymerization of the protein tubulin in the cells of the parasite, acting selectively. In this way, the substance does not affect the healthy cells of the "host," i.e. the infected person.
This medicine is available only as a therapy based on diagnosis, and cannot be found in free sale. Albenza contains certain substances that can become toxic after prolonged use, and it is not recommended to administer the therapy without constant medical supervision.
If patients are suspected of possible allergic reactions to a particular drug, they should inform the doctor if there is no prior diagnosis of possible allergies to benzimidazole class of compounds or any other components of Albenza.
Women planning pregnancy should be warned of possible contraindications. The general advice is to wait at least one month after the end of the therapy and to use appropriate contraception, while the toxic ingredients of the drug aren't eliminated from the body. This way, the proper development of the fetus is not endangered. However, if there is no alternative in the treatment of primary disease, Albendazole should not be used at least during the first trimester of pregnancy due to teratogenic and embryotoxic potential of this drug.
Instructions on Taking
During therapy with Albenza, due to the potential for the effect of the drug on the function of the liver and the density of the blood, a blood test and examination of the liver function should be performed every two weeks.
Albendazole has been shown to cause bone marrow suppression, aplastic anemia, and agranulocytosis in patients with the diagnosed liver disease. In case that a blood test shows a drastic fall in the number of blood cells (anemia), the therapy should be discontinued and replaced with an adequate substituent.
Albenza shouldn't be taken on an empty stomach. Except for grapefruit, other interactions of this medicine with food are not known. Patients should avoid consuming this fruit during therapy as specific enzymes may affect the efficacy of the medicine. Usually, children have a problem with swallowing of pills; so in case of therapy in kids younger than 12 years, the drug can be crushed and consumed dissolved in a glass of water.
In patients treated with Albenza, doctors usually prescribe a proper dose of corticosteroids to prevent hypertensive brain episodes during the first week of treatment. Additional therapy is needed in case of an inflammatory process, which can occur in the brain after the drug begins to kill parasites.
Depending on the sort of illness that is being treated, the doctor will adjust the Albenza therapy with your current health condition. In case of neurocysticercosis and hydatid liver disease, the recommended daily dose for elderly patients is 800mg of Albendazole, divided into two parts. In children or patients with less than 60kg (as the dose matches the patient's mass), 15mg/kg bodyweight therapy is prescribed, divided into several parts too.
The duration of therapy depends on the severity of the disease; generally, it lasts from eight to thirty days. In patients with hydatid disease, the treatment is repeated in three circles, with a break of 14 days between the two treatments.
Common side effects can occur in a large number of patients, as the reaction of the organism to the active substance Albendazole. These symptoms are not intense and should stop after a few days. These include nausea, abdominal pain, and vomiting. A headache and fainting can occur rarely, as well as blurred vision, although these can often be related to the primary disease.
As far as severe side effects are concerned, blood and lymphatic system disorders, such as leukopenia and bone marrow suppression are possible. Because of the sudden decrease in the number of white blood cells, especially in patients with the liver disorder, anemia can occur. This condition can lead to low immunity, which makes the body more susceptible to diseases.
In addition, adverse effects, such as eating disorder, diarrhea, and dehydration, are possible. These adverse reactions happen in less than one percent of those who are taking Albenza. Pay attention if you notice any of above-mentioned symptoms.
Interaction with Other Drugs
Albenza interaction is noted with about 100 drugs that are in use, and a complete list can be found on the FDA website. We will list some of the most important:
- Dexamethasone - decreasing the plasma level, reducing the effectiveness of Albenza;
- Ritonavir - increasing blood plasma levels;
- Praziqualntel - acting enantioselective to Albenza;
- Cimetidine - increasing the time of elimination of Albendazole from the organism.
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