Drug Information

Benznidazole

What is BENZNIDAZOLE?

(BENZNIDAZOLE) Benznidazole is an antibiotic that is used to treat a certain parasitic infection (Chagas disease). It works by stopping the growth of a certain parasite. This antibiotic treats only Chagas disease. It will not work for viral infections (such as common cold, flu). Using any antibiotic when it is not needed can cause it to not work for future infections.

How should I use BENZNIDAZOLE?

Read the Instructions for Use if available from your pharmacist before you start taking benznidazole and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually twice daily (about 12 hours apart). The dosage is based on your weight. If you have trouble swallowing the tablet, you can dissolve it in a cup of water for 1 to 2 minutes. Swirl the cup gently to mix and then drink the mixture right away. Rinse the cup with more water and drink the rinse water to make sure you have taken the whole dose. The amount of water needed to dissolve the tablet and also to rinse your cup depends on your dose. Ask your pharmacist or doctor for specific instructions. For the best effect, take this antibiotic at evenly spaced times. To help you remember, take this medication at the same times every day. Continue to take this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished, even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping the medication too early may result in a return of the infection. Tell your doctor if your condition lasts or gets worse.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take BENZNIDAZOLE?

Before taking benznidazole, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to related antibiotics (such as metronidazole, tinidazole); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: certain blood disorders (low blood cell counts), a certain rare genetic disorder (Cockayne syndrome). This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis). Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). This drug may affect genetic information in cells (genotoxic). Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of this medication. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant while using benznidazole. Benznidazole may harm an unborn baby. Women of childbearing age should have a pregnancy test before starting this medication. Ask about reliable forms of birth control while using this medication and for 5 days after stopping treatment. If you become pregnant, talk to your doctor right away about the risks and benefits of this medication. This medication passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor for more details.

What may interact with BENZNIDAZOLE?

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval. Do not take benznidazole if you are also taking disulfiram or if you have taken disulfiram within the last 2 weeks.

What if I miss a dose of BENZNIDAZOLE?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.

What side effects may I notice from receiving BENZNIDAZOLE?

Dizziness, headache, abdominal pain, nausea/vomiting, loss of appetite, or diarrhea may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: numbness/tingling of arms/legs, easy bruising/bleeding, unusual tiredness. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: fever that doesn't go away, new or worsening lymph node swelling, rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Where should I keep BENZNIDAZOLE?

Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.

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