Rare fatalities associated with the use of ALBENZA have been reported due to granulocytopenia or pancytopenia (see PRECAUTIONS). Albendazole has been shown to cause bone marrow suppression, aplastic anemia, and agranulocytosis in patients with and without underlying hepatic dysfunction.
Blood counts should be monitored at the beginning of each 28-day cycle of therapy, and every 2 weeks while on therapy with albendazole in all patients.
Patients with liver disease, including hepatic echinococcosis, appear to be more at risk for bone marrow suppression leading to pancytopenia, aplastic anemia, agranulocytosis, and leukopenia attributable to albendazole and warrant closer monitoring of blood counts.
Albendazole should be discontinued in all patients if clinically significant decreases in blood cell counts occur.
Albendazole should not be used in pregnant women except in clinical circumstances where no alternative management is appropriate. Patients should not become pregnant for at least 1 month following cessation of albendazole therapy.If a patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, albendazole should be discontinued immediately. If pregnancy occurs while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus.