The adverse effects and treatment failures to some of the currently recommended drugs for giardia infection have given rise to the need for alternative antigiardial agents. In an open, randomized parallel group study, the safety and efficacy of albendazole was compared with metronidazole for the treatment of giardiasis in children. Sixty four children of age ranging from 2-12 years was randomized to receive either albendazole suspension 400 mg daily for 5 days or metronidazole suspension 400 mg daily for 5 days or metronidazole suspension 7.5 mg/Kg thrice daily for 5 days. The mean days required for cure, as evident by absence of cysts and/or trophozoites in the stool specimen, were 3.7 +/- 1.4 and 4.5 +/- 1.1 days, respectively for children on albendazole and metronidazole therapy. Six children on metronidazole therapy developed anorexia 2 to 4 days after the treatment. Albendazole proved as effective as metronidazole in the treatment of giardia infection in children with the added advantage of the absence of anorexia.