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Pediatric Echinococcosis Medication

  • Author: Germaine L Defendi, MD, MS, FAAP; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
Updated: Jul 18, 2015

Medication Summary

Albendazole is considered the drug of choice in echinococcosis, although better alternatives are required.[16] Praziquantel should not be used because the drug may aid alveolar hydatid growth.



Class Summary

Parasite biochemical pathways are sufficiently different from the human host to allow selective interference by chemotherapeutic agents administered in relatively small doses.

Albendazole (Albenza)


Decreases ATP production in tapeworms, causing energy depletion, immobilization, and death. To avoid inflammatory response in CNS, patient must be started on anticonvulsants and high-dose glucocorticoids. Administer with food to increase absorption.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Germaine L Defendi, MD, MS, FAAP Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Olive View-UCLA Medical Center

Germaine L Defendi, MD, MS, FAAP is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Mary L Windle, PharmD Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Russell W Steele, MD Clinical Professor, Tulane University School of Medicine; Staff Physician, Ochsner Clinic Foundation

Russell W Steele, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association of Immunologists, American Pediatric Society, American Society for Microbiology, Infectious Diseases Society of America, Louisiana State Medical Society, Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, Society for Pediatric Research, Southern Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Michael D Nissen, MBBS FRACP, FRCPA, Associate Professor in Biomolecular, Biomedical Science & Health, Griffith University; Director of Infectious Diseases and Unit Head of Queensland Paediatric Infectious Laboratory, Sir Albert Sakzewski Viral Research Centre, Royal Children's Hospital

Michael D Nissen, MBBS is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics, Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, Royal Australasian College of Physicians, American Society for Microbiology, Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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Diagram of the Echinococcus life cycle, provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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