[Effectiveness and safety of mebendazole compared to nitazoxanide in the treatment of Giardia lamblia in children]

Rev Gastroenterol Mex. Jul-Sep 1999;64(3):122-6.
[Article in Spanish]


Objective: Compare the effectiveness and safety of mebendazole versus nitazoxanide in the treatment of Giardia lamblia in children. Giardiasis is an intestinal protozoan of worldwide distribution which most frequently affects the infantile population. In Mexico we have, found a frequency of three to sixty percent. We have, used different medications in it's treatment, but the experience with mebendazole and nitazoxanide is scarce.

Method: An experimental study as a clinical assay. We included children from the ages of 4 to 12 years old, which had a positive Giardia lamblia cysts in their feces. The children were divided into to two groups: A, were a administered 100 mg of mebendazole every 12 hours, for three days; B, were administered 100 mg of nitazoxanide every 12 hours, for three days; A feces control study was performed at three, five and seven days post treatment. At the end of the treatment we asked the parents if the children had presented any adverse events during the administration of the medication. For the statistical analysis we used Student's t and Chi squared.

Results: We studied 82 children, 41 (50%) for each group. In group A, the control feces studies were negative 33 resulting in a 80.4% effectiveness; in group B, 32 were negative resulting in a 78.0% effectiveness, without being statistically significant with a p = 0.8. We found adverse, events in 9 (22%) of the children in group A and 16 (39%) in group B, there was, statistically significant difference with p = 0.09. However, we discovered that the children who received nitazoxanide suffered from abdominal pain more frequently.

Conclusions: We can conclude that both mebendazole and nitazoxanide are efficient for use against infection due to Giardia lamblia, however, the secondary reactions with nitazoxanide were more frequent than with mebendazol.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / adverse effects
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Giardia lamblia*
  • Giardiasis / drug therapy*
  • Giardiasis / parasitology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mebendazole / adverse effects
  • Mebendazole / therapeutic use*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Thiazoles / therapeutic use*


  • Antiprotozoal Agents
  • Thiazoles
  • Mebendazole
  • nitazoxanide