Why is this 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 this 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.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Mebendazole may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- stomach pain, discomfort, or swelling
- loss of appetite
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- shortness of breath
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- fever, sore throat, chills, or other signs of infection
Mebendazole may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this 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.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local 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.