Mebendazole is an anti-worm medication.

Pronunciation: me-BEN-da-zole

What are mebendazole’s uses?

Mebendazole is used in the treatment of tapeworm, roundworm, hookworm, pinworm and whipworm infections in the intestine. It’s known as an antihelmintic, that is, an anti-worm medicine, and comes in tablet form.

What dosage should you take?

Adult doses:

  • For roundworm, whipworm and hookworm: 100mg twice daily for three days. Alternatively, 500mg as a single dose, although this may be insufficient for whipworm and hookworm infections.
  • For pinworm: 100mg as a single dose, repeat after two weeks.
  • For tapeworm: 100mg twice daily for six days, or 200mg twice daily for four days or 300mg twice daily for three days. Repeat after three to four weeks if necessary.

For children over one:

  • For roundworm, whipworm and hookworm: 100mg twice daily for three days. Alternatively, 500mg as a single dose.
  • For pinworm: 100mg as a single dose and repeat after two weeks.
  • For tapeworm: 100mg twice daily for six days.

However, always first consult with your Clicks pharmacist about the correct dosages.

What special precautions should you take?

  • Children younger than one should not be given mebendazole.
  • During pregnancy or breastfeeding first consult your doctor about whether you can use mebendazole.
  • You do not need to fast or purge while taking mebendazole.
  • People heavily infested with roundworms may experience these parasites being expelled through their noses or mouths when taking mebendazole.
  • To prevent reinfection wash your bedding and pajamas in hot water.
  • If used in high doses, your blood count and liver function will need to be monitored.

Mebendazole should be used with caution if you suffer from the following conditions:

  • Crohn’s disease (a type of inflammatory bowel disease)
  • Ulcerative colitis and other ulcerations of the gastrointestinal tract
  • Liver impairment
  • Porphyria (a group of rare genetic disorders that affect mainly the skin or nervous system)

What drug interactions could you experience?

To avoid adverse drug interactions, always inform your doctor or Clicks pharmacist what prescription and non-prescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements and herbal products you are taking or planning to take.

What are mebendazole’s side effects?

Side effects are uncommon, however, they could include:

This is not a complete list of side effects. It’s essential that you call your doctor should you notice any severe or odd side effects, particularly if swelling, rash, sore throat and weakness occurs.

What are the overdose symptoms?

Call a doctor immediately if you suspect an overdose, which may present with the following symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Abdominal pain
The accuracy of this information was checked and approved by Clicks' pharmacist Waheed Abdurahman in April 2015