September 23, 2023

A veterinarian’s viral videos about a dewormer for animals being used to cure cancer are attracting attention on Facebook and TikTok. But the claims are false and misleading, according to a McMaster cancer researcher.

The drug fenbendazole (nicknamed FenBen) belongs to the broad-spectrum family of benzimidazole carbamate anthelmintics, which have been used safely in both animal and human clinical trials for nearly six decades. They are powerful drugs, but they also can kill healthy cells that regenerate rapidly.

Fenbendazole powder is an effective anthelmintic that can be used to treat and/or prevent various intestinal parasites in dogs, including nematodes and giardia. It’s easy to administer in a palatable flavoured suspension or powder that can be mixed with canned food. Additionally, it’s well tolerated by the majority of dogs with minimal side effects.

A methylcarbamate benzimidazole, fenbendazole is broad spectrum and effective against a variety of nematodes and protozoal parasites. In dogs, it’s labeled for the removal of roundworms (Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonina), hookworms (Ancylostoma caninum and Uncinaria stenocephala), whipworms (Trichuris vulpis), and tapeworms (Taenia pisiformis). In horses, it’s labeled for the treatment of large strongyles (Strongylus edentatus and S equinus) as well as small strongyles (Cyathostomum spp) and ascarids (Parascaris equorum).

Besides its use in treating gastrointestinal parasites in dogs, fenbendazole is an effective dewormer in cattle. It’s a key ingredient in the RALGRO zeranol implant, which reduces milk withhold and allows cows to return to the milking string sooner after calving. It can also be administered as the pMDZ block for beef and dairy cattle, which provides rapid eradication of lungworms, stomach worms, and intestinal worms.

Panacur is a brand name of fenbendazole that’s often prescribed for cattle, sheep, and goats. It’s approved for the treatment of infestation with gastrointestinal nematodes, lungworms and tapeworms in cattle, sheep, goats, and horses. The active ingredient is fenbendazole, which helps to eliminate the infestation by interfering with the energy metabolism of parasites. It also slows down the rate of infection, reducing the risk of intestinal obstruction as the worms die off in the digestive tract. fenbendazole for humans

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