Hydatid Cysts Medication

Updated: Feb 17, 2023
  • Author: Imad S Dandan, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Medication Summary

Drug therapy for echinococcosis is limited. The anthelmintic benzimidazoles, namely albendazole and mebendazole, are used for treatment and prophylaxis. Praziquantel, an isoquinoline derivative, is used as an adjunct for therapy.



Class Summary

Treatment of Echinococcus infestation as a primary modality or adjunct to surgery.

Albendazole (Albenza)

Decreases ATP production in the worm, causing energy depletion, immobilization, and, finally, death. Orally administered broad-spectrum anthelmintic with poor aqueous solubility. Poorly absorbed from the GI tract but metabolized quickly to albendazole sulfoxide, which is easily absorbed. Systemic activity is attributed to the first metabolite. Plasma level is noted to rise significantly (as much as 5-fold) when ingested after a high-fat meal. Experience in patients age < 6 y is limited.

Mebendazole (Vermox)

Causes worm death by selectively and irreversibly blocking the uptake of glucose and other nutrients in susceptible adult intestine where helminths dwell. Broad-spectrum synthetic anthelmintic. Metabolites are devoid of anthelmintic activity.



Class Summary

Used to potentiate the effect of benzimidazoles during therapy.

Praziquantel (Biltricide)

Increases cell membrane permeability in susceptible worms, resulting in loss of intracellular calcium, massive contractions, and paralysis of musculature. In addition, produces vacuolization and disintegration of schistosome tegument. This is followed by the attachment of phagocytes to the parasite and death. Isoquinoline derivative that is easily absorbed through the GI tract.