Side effects of Mebendazole can be due to various therapeutic and metabolic process of the drug inside the body. Mebendazole is an anti-helminthic drug used for killing helminthic worms like roundworms, tapeworms, pinworms, etc. The side effect of Mebendazole is due to its mechanism of action inside the host body. It is a broad spectrum work killing drug that can degrade all types of helminthic infections. Most of the anti-helminthic drugs act by paralyzing and breaking down the protein synthesis. The side effect of Mebendazole is due to the damaging of microtubules inside the worm. When the tubules get blocked, then the infection is not able to consume the glucose present inside the gut of the host organism. Blocking of glucose this result in the paralysis of parasite and saves us from its effect. But this leads to an imbalance in the level of glucose inside the host organism and cause diseases.
Side effect for Mebendazole
The side effect of Mebendazole arises due to the damaging of beta-tubulin and imbalance in the glucose level inside the host organism. Some of the common side effects of Mebendazole are the following:-
1. Headache:- It is the most common side effect of Mebendazole that almost 90% of patients face. No need to worry if you go through the problem while consuming Mebendazole because it is due to the glucose level fluctuations towards the region of your head. This imbalance raised only because of the mechanism of action of the drug while killing the worm.
2. Vomiting:- As the infection get paralyzed and died. It’s the body starts getting degraded inside the stomach. The dead residue of the worm now acts as waste inside the gut. So, for letting it out from the abdomen. Mebendazole triggers the chemoreceptor trigger zone ( CTZ ) cells and causes vomiting. If you check this vomited residue under a microscope, you will find the dead worms under it.
3. Ringing in the ears:- It is also known as Tinnitus. You will hear abnormal sounds on your ear while in stress or fear. This side effect of Mebendazole doesn’t take away the hearing sense but adds up some additional noise to your outer ear. It goes away within some weeks after you stop taking Mebendazole.
4. low white blood cell count:- It is the most harmful side effect of Mebendazole. It reduces the white blood cell count in the blood. Thus, there is a higher risk of suffering from an infection. To compensate for this side effect, the patient must take an iron tablet for maintaining the blood count in the body.
5. Agranulocytosis:- It is similar to the impact of low WBC count in the blood. These side effects of Mebendazole will lower down the level of granulocytes in blood and increases the chances of infection in the body. So, prefer to consume Mebendazole if you are suffering from some organ or tissue infection as it may slow down your recovery process.
6. Pain in the stomach:– The patient may face a slight pain in the abdomen after the drug reaches the gut and start showing its action. It is the most expected side effect of Mebendazole.
Long term effects
1. Bone marrow suppression:– This side of Mebendazole arises for consuming high-dose. It can cause leukopenia and hepatic syndromes. Most of the patients taking an oral tablet of Mebendazole are prone to this side effect.
2. Hair loss:- Most commonly known by alopecia. This side effect of Mebendazole is not so common, but still, some patients may face the loss of hair from scalp and eyebrows.
3. Stevens-Johnson syndrome:- Taking high doses of Mebendazole can also cause and severe toxic epidermal necrolysis.
Effects due to Drug interaction
Sometimes the reason for the side effects of Mebendazole is due to drug interaction. Each drug is capable of maintaining some specific function. Taking two or more medications at the same time, may interact with the mechanism of action and cause side effects. Some of the most common side effect in Mebendazole are the following:-
- Carbamazepine and phenytoin:- These drugs lower down the serum levels of Mebendazole. Thus obstruct their mechanism of action. You may not see an excellent therapeutic value if you are taking any of these drugs.
- Cimetidine:- It lows down the systemic absorption rate of Mebendazole. Thus, it takes a long time for the drug to reach the gut. The onset of action gets prolonged, and somehow, some percentage of the drug also gets degraded if they don’t react to the target cell at the right time
Method to stop side effects:-
We can take some measures to step if we want to prevent the side effects of Mebendazole. For example:- we can take medications to get rid of short term adverse effect like headache, vomiting, etc. by I taking NSAIDs and Anti-emetic drugs. But, we must be sure if those classes of the drug don’t interact with the mechanism of action of Mebendazole and cause severe side effects. Some of the common steps that you can take for lowering down the side effects of Mebendazole are the following:-
1. Recovery from Agranulocytosis:– After getting cured of Helmintic worms, the doctor may prescribe you some haematinics for the improvement of the side effects from Mebendazole. It will bring your blood count level to be reasonable and make you healthy again.
2. Recovery from headache:- Don’t go for taking tablets if you are facing a little pain in your head because there are some chances of drug interactions if you take NSAIDs. So, it is better to consult a doctor before you take some medication for a headache. Applying Balm on your head can be the best treatment measure if you are taking any drugs.
3. Bone marrow suppression:- Don’t worry, the doctor will not prescribe you to take Mebendazole for months. So, the chances of weakening of bones are meager. Still, if you face such a problem due to the side effect of Mebendazole, then the doctor will prescribe you calcium tablets for the recovery.
Drugs are human-made sources. So, it is most common to face side effects if we want some quick relief from the disease. Mebendazole is one of the most common drugs for treatment from worms. The side effect of Mebendazole can be predicted from the beginning so, no need the fear of taking medication. Consulting doctors and talking about the problems openly can help get the best choice of treatment against Anti-helminthics.
Sources:- Desk reference of clinical pharmacology