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indicationFor the treatment of Enterobius vermicularis (pinworm), Trichuris trichiura (whipworm), Ascaris lumbricoides (common roundworm), Ancylostoma duodenale (common hookworm), Necator americanus (American hookworm) in single or mixed infections.
pharmacologyMebendazole is a (synthetic) broad-spectrum anthelmintic. The principal mode of action for Mebendazole is by its inhibitory effect on tubulin polymerization which results in the loss of cytoplasmic microtubules.
mechanism of actionMebendazole 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.
toxicityAcute oral toxicity (LD50): 620 mg/kg [Mouse]. Symptoms of overdose include elevated liver enzymes, headaches, hair loss, low levels of white blood cells (neutropenia), fever, and itching.
biotransformationPrimarily hepatic. Primary metabolite is 2-amino-5-benzoylbenzimidazole, but also metabolized to inactive hydroxy and hydroxyamino metabolites. All metabolites are devoid of anthelmintic activity.
absorptionPoorly absorbed (approximately 5 to 10%) from gastrointestinal tract. Fatty food increases absorption.
half life2.5 to 5.5 hours (range 2.5 to 9 hours) in patients with normal hepatic function. Approximately 35 hours in patients with impaired hepatic function (cholestasis).
route of eliminationIn man, approximately 2% of administered mebendazole is excreted in urine and the remainder in the feces as unchanged drug or a primary metabolite.
drug interactionsEthotoin: The hydantoin decreases the efficiency of mebendazole
Fosphenytoin: The hydantoin decreases the efficiency of mebendazole
Mephenytoin: The hydantoin decreases the efficiency of mebendazole
Phenytoin: The hydantoin decreases the efficiency of mebendazole