Mebendazole is like a superhero for your body, fighting off infections brought about by unwelcome invaders – worms. Its primary battlefield? Your digestive system, where it combats common foes like threadworms (you might know them as pinworms) and other less common worm enemies such as whipworm, roundworm, and hookworm.
How does Mebendazole fight off these invaders? It’s a smart warrior, sabotaging the worms’ food supply, their much-needed sugar (glucose). Without their energy source, the worms eventually perish. This superhero medication can be easily found in your local pharmacy for anyone aged 2 and above. For little ones aged 6 months and older, it’s available with a doctor’s prescription. It comes in two easy-to-take forms: as chewable tablets or a drinkable liquid.
For a threadworm invasion, a single dose of Mebendazole usually suffices. But tougher worm enemies might require a three-day medication strategy. Mebendazole is a swift fighter, but complete eradication of all the worms might take a few days. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have the power to destroy their eggs, so a second round of the medication may be necessary after two weeks. Additionally, maintaining good hygiene is crucial to keep these stubborn enemies from returning. A mild stomach discomfort might be the only battle scar you bear, which is a common side effect. To ensure full victory, your doctor or pharmacist might recommend that every member of the household enlist Mebendazole’s help.
Now, who can call upon Mebendazole? It’s safe for anyone above 2 years of age and for those between 6 months and 2 years if they’ve been given the doctor’s approval. However, there are some who might not be the right candidates for this superhero medication. Before starting your Mebendazole journey, be sure to tell your doctor or pharmacist if you fall into any of these categories:
Have you ever had an allergic reaction to Mebendazole or any other medication? Are you currently pregnant or nursing? It’s crucial to share this information for your safety and well-being.
When and How to Use Mebendazole
Think of Mebendazole as a tasty weapon against worm invaders. It comes in two delightful flavors: a banana-flavored liquid and orange tablets. It’s important to follow the instructions that come along with your medication as closely as possible.
Your doctor or pharmacist is your guide on this journey. They will let you know the amount of Mebendazole you need to take, tailored to the type of worms you’re dealing with.
In case you’re fighting off threadworms (or pinworms, as they are also called), a single dose is usually your game plan. It’s like an all-household team effort – everyone living with you should be treated simultaneously since these tiny invaders are known to be quite contagious.
To make sure these threadworms don’t make a comeback, your doctor or pharmacist may recommend a repeat performance of the same dose after two weeks. This is because while Mebendazole is excellent at dealing with the worms, it can’t destroy their eggs.
When up against other worm types, like whipworm, roundworm, and hookworm, it’s essential to follow your doctor’s specific battle plan regarding Mebendazole. This usually involves taking a dose twice a day for three days.
Taking Mebendazole is a breeze. You can chew the tablet or simply swallow it whole with a drink of your choice: water, juice, or milk. Food doesn’t affect its power, so it doesn’t matter whether you take it with meals or not. If you’re using the liquid form, it comes with a special plastic spoon to measure the correct dose. If you don’t have this spoon, ask your pharmacist to give you one. Your kitchen teaspoon isn’t suitable here as it won’t give you the precise dose.
Suppose you forget to take your twice-a-day dose and remember within four hours of the usual time. In that case, take it as soon as you remember. But if more than four hours have passed, don’t worry about the missed dose, just carry on with the next one at the regular time.
Don’t Double Up on Doses
If you’ve missed a dose, avoid the temptation to double up on your next one. It’s not the right way to make up for it.
Suppose you end up taking more Mebendazole than you should by accident. Don’t worry too much, it’s unlikely to harm you. However, it might give you a bit of a rough time with symptoms such as stomach pain, feeling queasy, vomiting, or loose stools.
Let’s talk about some of the common side effects of Mebendazole, which might occur in more than one out of every hundred people. If you’re feeling a stomach ache, try some simple home remedies like resting, eating smaller meals more often, and applying a warm pack to your belly. If the pain gets too severe, reach out to a doctor or pharmacist.
Feeling bloated or a bit gassy? Aim for simple meals and avoid food that’s spicy or rich in fats. Taking Mebendazole after meals might help you feel better. Diarrhoea can leave you dehydrated, so remember to drink lots of fluids. However, don’t take any medication for diarrhoea without asking your pharmacist or doctor first. If you’re on the contraceptive pill and experience severe diarrhoea for more than a day, you might need to take extra measures to prevent pregnancy. More information can be found in your pill packet.
If you’ve tried managing the side effects of Mebendazole but they’re still bothering you, don’t hesitate to seek advice from your doctor or pharmacist. Serious side effects require immediate attention. Stop taking Mebendazole and reach out to a healthcare professional or dial 111 right away if you notice your eyes or skin turning yellow. This could be a sign of liver problems and might be harder to spot on darker skin tones.
Uncommon but Important: Severe Allergic Reactions
It’s rare, but there’s a small chance of having a serious allergic reaction (known as anaphylaxis) to Mebendazole. Remember, the side effects mentioned are not exhaustive; for a full list, please refer to the information booklet in your medication pack.
If you’re pregnant, rest assured, Mebendazole can be used if necessary. Threadworms aren’t a major threat to you or your unborn baby. If possible, try to defeat these worms without medication, especially during your first trimester when your baby is still developing.
One of the best ways to fight off worms is maintaining top-notch hygiene. Get into the habit of washing your hands thoroughly, scrubbing under your fingernails, taking daily showers, and rinsing your toothbrush regularly. Keep your nails trimmed, frequently wash your sleepwear, sheets, and towels, and regularly disinfect your kitchen and bathroom. Dusting with a damp cloth and regular vacuuming can also help. These practices should help clear the worm infestation within six weeks. If they don’t or if you can’t manage them, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about taking Mebendazole.
If you’re dealing with a different type of worm, like roundworm or hookworm, your doctor can guide you on the most effective treatment.
Breastfeeding while taking Mebendazole is okay, as long as your doctor or health visitor confirms that your baby is healthy. Only a small amount of the medicine is present in breast milk, so it’s unlikely that your baby will consume enough to experience any side effects.
Keeping an Eye on Your Baby
If you notice any changes in your baby’s feeding habits or have any other concerns about your little one while taking Mebendazole, don’t hesitate to reach out to your health visitor, midwife, or doctor right away. As far as we know, Mebendazole doesn’t affect fertility in men or women.
Remember, Mebendazole could interact with other medications and even herbal supplements. It’s always a good idea to have a chat with your doctor or pharmacist if you’re taking any other medication alongside Mebendazole, as they can affect each other.
For example, Metronidazole is usually given for bacterial or protozoan infections, while Cimetidine is often used to reduce stomach acid levels. When it comes to Mebendazole, there’s not enough information to confidently say whether it’s safe to use along with complementary medicines, herbal remedies, or supplements. These products aren’t evaluated in the same way as standard drugs, and there are no studies showing how they might interact with other medications.
For more information, you can visit: https://www.fenbendazole.org/