Why is Mebendazole medication prescribed?
Mebendazole is used to treat several types of worm infections. Mebendazole (Vermox) is used to treat roundworm and whipworm infections. Mebendazole (Emverm) is used to treat pinworm, whipworm, roundworm, and hookworm infections. Mebendazole is in a class of medications called anthelmintics. It works by killing the worms.
How should Mebendazole medicine be used?
Mebendazole comes as a chewable tablet. When mebendazole (Emverm) is used to treat whipworm, roundworm, and hookworm it is usually taken twice a day, in the morning and evening, for 3 days. When mebendazole (Emverm) is used to treat pinworm, it is usually taken as a single (one-time) dose. Mebendazole (Vermox) is usually taken as a single (one-time) dose. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take mebendazole exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
If you are taking mebendazole (Emverm) chewable tablets, you may chew the tablets, swallow them whole, or crush and mix them with food.
You should thoroughly chew mebendazole (Vermox) chewable tablets; do not swallow the tablet whole. However, if you cannot chew the tablet, you may place the tablet on a spoon and add a small amount of water (2 to 3 mL) onto the tablet using a dosing syringe. After 2 minutes, the tablet will absorb the water and become a soft mass that should be swallowed.
If your condition does not improve or gets worse, call your doctor.
Other uses for this medicine
Mebendazole is also sometimes used to treat infections caused by tapeworms. This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking mebendazole,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to mebendazole, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in mebendazole chewable tablets. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: cimetidine (Tagamet) or metronidazole (Flagyl, in Pylera). Your doctor may need to monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had stomach or liver disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking mebendazole, call your doctor.
- you should know that in addition to your treatment with mebendazole, you will need to take steps to prevent reinfection and infection of other people. You should wash your hands and fingernails with soap often, especially before eating and after using the toilet. Talk to you doctor about other measures to prevent reinfection and spread of the infection to others. Be sure to carefully follow the instructions provided by your doctor.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Mebendazole Side Effects
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 immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Black, tarry stools
- cough or hoarseness
- dark urine
- fever with or without chills
- general feeling of tiredness or weakness
- hives or welts, itching, or skin rash
- large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
- light-colored stools
- lower back or side pain
- nausea and vomiting
- painful or difficult urination
- pale skin
- redness of the skin
- sore throat
- sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- upper right abdominal or stomach pain
- yellow eyes and skin
Incidence not known
- Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
- difficulty with swallowing
- fast heartbeat
- joint or muscle pain
- red skin lesions, often with a purple center
- red, irritated eyes
- tightness in the chest
Some 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. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Abdominal or stomach pain or upset
Incidence not known
- excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
- full feeling
- hair loss or thinning of the hair
- loss of appetite
- passing gas
- weight loss
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
What should I know about storage and disposal of Mebendazole medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
- stomach pain, discomfort, or swelling
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to mebendazole.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Your prescription is probably not refillable. If you still have symptoms of infection after you finish the mebendazole, call your doctor.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.