Unlike thiabendazole, mebendazole (Vermox) does not inhibit fumarate reductase.While mebendazole binds to both mammalian and nematode tubulin, it exhibits a differential affinity for the latter, possibly explaining the selective action of the drug. The selective binding to nematode tubulin may inhibit glucose absorption, leading to glycogen consumption and ATP depletion.
Mebendazole is given orally; it is poorly soluble, and very little is absorbed from the intestinal tract. About 5 to 10%, principally the decarboxylated derivatives, is recovered in the urine; most of the orally administered drug is found in the feces within 24 hours.
Mebendazole is used primarily for the treatment of A. lumbricoides, T. trichiura, E. vermicularis, and hookworm infections, in which it produces high cure rates. It is an alternative agent for the treatment of trichinosis and visceral larva migrans. Owing to its broad-spectrum anthelmintic effect, mixed infections (ascariasis, hookworm infestation, or enterobiasis in association with trichuriasis) frequently respond to therapy. High doses have been used to treat hydatid disease, but albenda-zole is now thought to be superior.
Abdominal discomfort and diarrhea may occur when the worm load is heavy. Its use is contraindicated during pregnancy.
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