Known as a broad-spectrum benzimidazole, Fenbendazole is a drug that’s primarily catered toward animals. It has also shown efficacy in humans, but there isn’t a lot of research on how the drug interacts with humans at this time. Nevertheless, this article will explore the question; what is Fenbendazole, its use cases, dosage, and potential side effects?
What is Fenbendazole?
Introduced in the mid-1970s, Fenbendazole is now used worldwide, and it's easily obtainable as the drug can generally be purchased over the counter. Primarily used in veterinary medicine, Fenbendazole is commonly administered for the treatment of nematodal infections, but that isn't its only use case. Numerous anthelmintic effects are found in the drug, and it's generally a go-to medication when trying to fight off gastrointestinal parasites in animals.
Some of these parasites include:
- Taenia genus of tapeworms
- And more
Fenbendazole for dogs, cats, horses, cattle, and many other common animals is a great solution for many common ailments. Medical experts have also explored the possibility of Fenbendazole for cancer, as it has shown anti-cancer capabilities.
Part of this comes from research that explains that anthelmintic drugs can have a direct correlation to the regression of different types of tumors. It’s also known that Fenbendazole can be used in conjunction with a variety of conventional treatment techniques. Regarding how the drug looks, Fenbendazole powder is the most common, but liquid Fenbendazoleisn’t necessarily uncommon.
Based on toxicological data, Fenbendazole for humans is a route that medical experts are continuing to explore. Although much of the data on the drug is based on animal use, scientists are confident the drug could bring numerous benefits to humans. The drug is safe for many animals, but it’s a niche list and shouldn’t be given to just any animal.
Here are a few of the animals where Fenbendazole has shown efficacy:
It can also be used with most reptiles, but not all. As more research comes to light about the drug, there’s always the chance that it’s expanded to different animal groups. Considering the unique nature of every animal, it’s crucial to understand how dosage works, as these details can vary significantly.
This is actually a pretty convoluted topic as dosage can vary greatly based on the animal and many different unique health factors. In most circumstances, Fenbendazole is administered for a consecutive 5-day period. Most Fenbendazole capsules are 222mg each, but the amount you give to an animal is primarily reliant on the animal’s weight. For example, a dog that needs treatment for parasites and weighs ten pounds should only take one capsule a day for five days.
Other aspects to consider about administration include:
- Fenbendazole should be given alongside the animals’ normal portion of food
- Another round of Fenbendazole may be needed weeks after the initial treatment
- Fenbendazole shouldn’t be administered to dogs that are younger than six weeks
- Dogs over the age of six months should receive deworming treatments at least twice per year
Although some of these points can be generalized toward any animal, some of them are specifically focused on dogs. In regard to the Febendazole dosage for cats, the suggested dose for a 10-pound cat would be 333mg per dose. They would follow the same 5-day treatment plan, but adult cats that are six months or older should be treated every one to three months.
This data also only focuses on using Fenbendazole for the sake of removing parasites. It’s common for certain dosage parameters to change if you’re using it to fight against certain cancers. It’s also important to note that the drug has shown efficacy in treating cancer in every animal. There’s plenty of data to support dosage regarding cancer in dogs and cats, but not nearly as much when it comes to horses or cattle.
When we take a look at Fenbendazole dosage for humans, the drug is mainly used for cancer treatment and prevention, as humans don’t suffer from parasites as often as animals. A baseline dosage for humans looking to use the drug to treat the effects of cancer is 222mg tablets per 100 pounds.
The intake protocol is to administer Fenbendazole six days out of the week, skip the seventh day, and then repeat the process weekly. Although the Fenbendazole dose for humans can vary, most people shouldn’t take more than 444mg on a daily basis. Another important fact to consider is that Fenbendazole offers minimal absorption in the intestinal tract.
After consumption, no more than 10% of the medicine is actually absorbed by the body. However, the bioavailability of Fenbendazole can be enhanced if food is present in the gut at the time of administration. Due to the increase in blood flow to the digestive tract, more of the drug can be absorbed by the body.
Fenbendazole side effects
Thanks to numerous toxicology studies, scientists have learned that Fenbendazole doesn’t come with many adverse side effects. Of course, there are still a few you should be aware of for the sake of your or your animal’s health. Although benzimidazoles like Fenbendazole are relatively safe, they still come with a low potential for toxicity.
Key side effects to note include:
- Smaller doses may be required for those who have severe kidney or liver failure. This causes lower excretion rates of the medication. Medical professionals will either steer clear from the medication entirely or split up doses accordingly so the body can handle it safely.
- It’s known that roughly 5% of people who take Fenbendazole can experience general discomfort in the stomach or potentially diarrhea. However, this is primarily found in those who take significant quantities of the medication for extended periods of time.
- For patients that take Fenbendazole capsules for extended periods without any breaks and in high quantity, it’s possible to encounter an asymptomatic liver enzyme. Thankfully, this particular issue can be reversed by pausing administration for a few weeks.
Overall, this is the worst that any animal or human may experience during treatment. The Fenbendazole dose for humans, dogs, cats, and many other animals come with a set of specific requirements. Following the intake schedule is the best way to avoid any potential side effects. If you or your animal experience any adverse effects, make sure to notify a medical professional, as they'll be able to provide proper direction on what to do next.
What is Fenbendazole used for?
In most use cases, Fenbendazole is used to treat parasites in a variety of animal species. It’s able to treat a long list of different parasites, but the drug has also been shown to help against many health complications related to cancer. Fenbendazole for humans mainly focuses on cancer, whereas the drug is primarily used for parasites in animals. It can also be utilized in different ways depending on which stage of cancer the patient is currently going through. On top of that, Fenbendazole can be used alongside a variety of other cancer-prevention drugs and therapies.
Are there any drug interactions I should be aware of?
When it comes to Fenbendazole for animals, the drug should never be mixed with the likes of any salicylanilides. Death in sheep and abortions in cattle have been reported when these two drug classes are mixed. Outside of that, more studies are needed to understand which drugs do or do not work alongside Fenbendazole.
How long does it take for Fenbendazole to eliminate a parasite infection?
Unfortunately, with many animals, this is an ongoing battle. Even if you defeat a parasite infection in a dog over the course of a few weeks, that dog will still need at least two treatments a year to keep them at bay. These parameters may vary depending on the type of animal, but in most cases, parasite infections take a few weeks to clear out. They can be rather stubborn, and they could require repeat treatments if it isn’t entirely cleared by the second or third week.
Is Fenbendazole safe for humans?
Considering adverse side effects are low and new data continues to prove its efficacy, Fenbendazole is generally considered relatively safe for human consumption. Once again, its main focus is parasites in animals, but the drug is mainly used for cancer treatment and prevention in humans. Regarding cancer treatments, Fenbendazole is rarely used on its own, as it can be a supporting factor alongside other cancer medications and treatments.
How does the medication work?
In regard to curing parasite infections, Fenbendazole works by blocking the synthesis of microtubules. It does this selectively, and the process halts the polymerization of tubulin dimers. These are found in the cells of parasites and eventually lead to their death.
Fenbendazole cancer treatments also show a variety of similar and unique effects. There are three primary effects that the drug takes on cancer. These include apoptosis induction, inhibition of glucose uptake in cancer cells, and the reactivation of the p53 gene. What’s even better is that cancer cells don’t show a history of developing resistance to Fenbendazole treatments.