Benznidazole

Benznidazole is used to treat an infection called American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease) in pediatric patients 2 to 12 years of age. It is an oral tablet taken for 60 days.

Benznidazole Overview

Reviewed: November 8, 2017
Updated: 

Benznidazole is an antiportazoal prescription medication used to treat an infection called American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease) in pediatric patients 2 to 12 years of age.

Benznidazole belongs to a group of drugs called antiprotozoals. These work by killing the organism that can cause Chagas disease. 

This medication comes in tablet form and is taken 2 times a day, with or without food. Benznidazole is usually taken for a duration of 60 days.

Common side effects of benznidazole include abdominal pain, rash, and decreased weight.

 

 

 

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Benznidazole Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautions

Uses of Benznidazole

Benznidazole is a prescription medication used to treat an infection called American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease) in pediatric patients 2 to 12 years of age. Chagas disease is caused by a parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi) and is spread by the bite of reduviid bugs, or kissing bugs, or by consuming food or beverages contaminated with infected bug feces.

 

Benznidazole Drug Class

Benznidazole is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Benznidazole

Serious side effects have been reported with benznidazole. See the “Benznidazole Precautions” section.

Common side effects of benznidazole include the following:

  • abdominal pain
  • rash
  • decreased weight 
  • headache 
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • neutropenia (low white blood cell count)
  • urticaria (hives)
  • pruritus (itching)
  • eosinophilia (high levels of eosinophils)
  • decreased appetite 

This is not a complete list of benznidazole side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effects that bother you or that do not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Benznidazole Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • disulfiram (Antabuse) 
  • alcohol and products containing propylene glycol 

This is not a complete list of benznidazole drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

 

Benznidazole Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with benznidazole including the following:

  • Fetal harm
  • Serious skin reactions
  • Paresthesia or symptoms of peripheral neuropathy 
  • Bone marrow depression, such as neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, anemia, and leukopenia 

Do not take benznidazole if you are allergic to benznidazole or to any of its ingredients.

Benznidazole Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of benznidazole, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

 

 

Inform MD

Before taking benznidazole, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to benznidazole or to any of its ingredients
  • have liver problems
  • have kidney problems
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

 

 

Benznidazole and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Based on findings from animal studies, benznidazole may cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Published postmarketing reports on benznidazole use during pregnancy are insufficient to inform a drug-associated risk of adverse pregnancy-related outcomes. 

Benznidazole should be used during pregnancy only if the possible benefit outweighs the possible risk to the unborn baby.

 

 

Benznidazole and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

Benznidazole has been detected in human breast milk. There are no reports of adverse effects on the breastfed infant and no information on the effects of benznidazole on milk production. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions, and transmission of Chagas disease, advise patients that breastfeeding is not recommended during treatment with benznidazole. 

Benznidazole Usage

Take benznidazole exactly as prescribed.

Benznidazole comes in tablet form and is taken twice a day for a duration of 60 days.

Take with food or an empty stomach.

If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of benznidazole at the same time.

 

 

 

Benznidazole Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The dose your doctor recommends is based on your weight. 

The recommended dose range of benznidazole is 5 mg/kg to 8 mg/kg orally administered in two divided doses separated by approximately 12 hours for a duration of 60 days.

Benznidazole Overdose

If you take too much benznidazole, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

 

Other Requirements

  • Store benznidazole at room temperature 20° to 25°C (68°to 77°F).
  • Keep benznidazole away from moisture. 
  • Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.