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Why is this medication prescribed?

Benznidazole is a medication primarily prescribed for the treatment of Chagas disease, which is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. Chagas disease is prevalent in certain parts of Central and South America, where the parasite is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected insects, blood transfusions, organ transplantation, or from mother to child during pregnancy.

Benznidazole works by killing the parasite responsible for Chagas disease, thereby reducing the symptoms and preventing the progression of the infection. It is most effective when used during the early stages of the disease.

How should this medicine be used?

Benznidazole is typically prescribed for the treatment of Chagas disease, caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. The dosage and duration of treatment can vary depending on factors such as the patient’s age, weight, and the severity of the infection. However, the general guidelines for using benznidazole are as follows:

  • Dosage: The typical dosage for adults is 5 to 7 mg/kg of body weight per day, divided into two or three doses. For children, the dosage may vary based on weight and age, and pediatric dosing should be determined by a healthcare professional.
  • Administration: Benznidazole is usually taken orally in tablet form. It’s important to take the medication with food to improve absorption and reduce the risk of stomach upset. Swallow the tablets whole with a glass of water; do not crush or chew them.
  • Duration: The duration of treatment can vary depending on the stage of the disease and the healthcare provider’s recommendations. Treatment courses typically last several weeks to months. It’s crucial to complete the full course of treatment as prescribed, even if symptoms improve, to ensure the infection is fully eradicated.
  • Follow-up: During treatment with benznidazole, your healthcare provider may schedule regular follow-up appointments to monitor your progress and assess for any side effects or complications.
  • Adherence: It’s essential to take benznidazole exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not skip doses or stop taking the medication without consulting them first. If you have any questions or concerns about the medication or its use, be sure to discuss them with your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

Remember that these are general guidelines, and individual recommendations may vary. Always follow the specific instructions provided by your healthcare provider.

Other uses for this medicine

Benznidazole is primarily used for the treatment of Chagas disease caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. However, there are limited reports and studies on potential alternative uses for benznidazole. Research into its efficacy for other conditions is ongoing, but currently, its primary use remains for Chagas disease.

What special precautions should I follow?

As for special precautions to follow when using benznidazole, here are some important considerations:

  • Allergies: Inform your healthcare provider if you have any allergies to benznidazole or any other medications. This medication may contain inactive ingredients that can cause allergic reactions or other problems.
  • Medical History: Provide your healthcare provider with your complete medical history, especially if you have a history of liver or kidney problems, blood disorders, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Drug Interactions: Inform your healthcare provider about all the medications you are currently taking, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements, and vitamins. Some medications may interact with benznidazole, potentially increasing the risk of side effects or reducing its effectiveness.
  • Liver Function Monitoring: Benznidazole can affect liver function, so your healthcare provider may perform regular blood tests to monitor liver enzymes while you are taking this medication.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, discuss the risks and benefits of using benznidazole with your healthcare provider. It is essential to weigh the potential risks to the fetus or infant against the benefits of treating the infection.
  • Avoid Alcohol: Alcohol consumption should be limited or avoided while taking benznidazole, as it may increase the risk of liver damage.
  • Driving and Machinery: Benznidazole may cause dizziness or drowsiness in some individuals. If you experience these side effects, avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how the medication affects you.
  • Storage: Store benznidazole tablets at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the medication out of reach of children and pets.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and guidance regarding the use of benznidazole, and do not hesitate to ask any questions or voice any concerns you may have about the medication.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

There are no specific dietary restrictions associated with benznidazole. However, taking the medication with food can help reduce the risk of stomach upset. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions regarding meals and medication timing.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dose of benznidazole, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Benznidazole, like any medication, can cause side effects in some individuals. Common side effects may include:

  • Nausea and vomiting: Some people may experience gastrointestinal discomfort, including nausea and vomiting, especially when starting treatment.
  • Headache: Headaches are a common side effect of benznidazole treatment.
  • Dizziness: Benznidazole can sometimes cause dizziness or lightheadedness.
  • Fatigue: Feeling tired or fatigued is another common side effect.
  • Skin rash: Some individuals may develop a rash or skin irritation while taking benznidazole.
  • Loss of appetite: Decreased appetite is a possible side effect of benznidazole.
  • Insomnia: Difficulty sleeping or insomnia may occur in some individuals.
  • Muscle or joint pain: Benznidazole can sometimes cause muscle or joint pain.
  • Changes in blood cell counts: Rarely, benznidazole can affect blood cell counts, leading to conditions such as anemia, leukopenia (low white blood cell count), or thrombocytopenia (low platelet count).
  • Liver toxicity: Benznidazole can cause liver toxicity in some individuals, leading to elevated liver enzymes and, rarely, liver damage.

It’s essential to be aware of these potential side effects and to contact your healthcare provider if you experience any symptoms that are bothersome or persistent. In some cases, your healthcare provider may need to adjust your dosage or switch you to a different medication.

Additionally, if you experience any severe side effects, such as signs of an allergic reaction (e.g., rash, itching, swelling, difficulty breathing) or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), seek immediate medical attention.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and report any side effects you experience while taking benznidazole. They can provide guidance and support to help manage any side effects and ensure the safe and effective use of the medication.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Storage and Disposal of benznidazole:


  • Keep benznidazole tablets in their original packaging at room temperature, away from moisture and heat.
  • Store the medication out of reach of children and pets.
  • Do not transfer benznidazole to other containers, especially food containers, to avoid accidental ingestion.
  • Check the expiration date on the packaging and discard any expired medication properly.


  • Do not dispose of benznidazole by flushing it down the toilet or pouring it down the drain, unless instructed to do so by your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
  • Follow any specific disposal instructions provided by your pharmacist or local waste management authority.
  • If you have unused or expired benznidazole tablets, consult your pharmacist or healthcare provider for guidance on proper disposal methods.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of an overdose or emergency situation related to benznidazole, such as severe symptoms or suspected poisoning, seek immediate medical assistance or contact your local poison control center. Be prepared to provide information about the medication taken, the amount ingested, and any symptoms experienced.

What other information should I know?

  • Inform your healthcare provider about all medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking before starting benznidazole, as some drugs may interact with it.
  • Attend all scheduled appointments with your healthcare provider for monitoring and evaluation during benznidazole treatment.
  • Report any new or worsening symptoms to your healthcare provider promptly, as they may indicate a need for dosage adjustment or alternative treatment.
  • Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions regarding dietary considerations, alcohol consumption, and other lifestyle factors while taking benznidazole.
  • Keep benznidazole and all medications out of reach of children and pets to prevent accidental ingestion.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about benznidazole or its use, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for guidance.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure the safe and effective use of benznidazole while minimizing the risk of adverse effects or complications.

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