Brand: FLEXIBEN 10% SC Oral Suspension
INDICATIONS: SHEEP & CATTLE
PARASITES CONTROLLED* (spectrum of activity)
* Country-specific differences may apply: read the product label.
- Flukes: Adult liver fluke Fasciola hepatica.
- Tapeworms: Moniezia spp.
- Flukes: Adult liver fluke Fasciola hepatica.
- Tapeworms: Moniezia spp.
This product is also ovicidal and will kill fluke and worm eggs, thus reducing pasture contamination.
* Country-specific differences may apply: read the product label
- Worm dose: 1 mL product/20 kg bw (equivalent to 5.0 mg/kg albendazole).
- Fluke & worm dose (for chronic fasciolasis): 1.5 mL product/20 kg bw (equivalent to 7.5 mg/kg albendazole).
- Not recommended for the treatment of acute fascioliasis in sheep.
- Worm dose: 7.5 mL product/100 kg bw (equivalent to 7.5 mg/kg albendazole).
- Fluke & worm dose (for chronic fasciolasis): 10 mL product/100 kg bw (equivalent to 10.0 mg/kg albendazole).
- LD50 (acute oral) in rats: 1500 mg/kg
- LD50 (acute dermal) in rats: n.a.
Suspected poisoning? Read the article on albendazole safety in this site.
Withholding periods (=withdrawal times) in days for meat & milk (country-specific differences may apply: read the product label)
- Meat & offal: Ireland 4 days.
- Milk for human consumption: Ireland: not to be used in sheep producing milk for human consumption.
- Meat & offal: Ireland 14 days.
- Milk for human consumption: Ireland 60 hours.
- Do not dose ewes at the 'fluke and worm' dose rate (7.5 mg/kg) during tupping and for 1 month after removing the rams.
WARNING !!!: Never use on humans, dogs and cats
You may be interested in the following articles in this site dealing with the general safety of veterinary products:
- Safety for humans
- Safety for domestic animals
- Safety for the environment
- Hazard classifications of pesticides
Risk of resistance? YES, resistance of gastrointestinal roundworms to all benzimidazoles (incl. albendazole) in ruminants is a very serious and increasing problem wordlwide, particularly in sheep and goats, but also in cattle. The most affected worm species in sheep are: Haemonchus spp, Ostertagia spp /Teladorsagia spp, Trichostrongylus spp, Nematodirus spp, Chabertia ovina
Resistance of the liver fluke, Fasciola hepatica, to albendazole and triclabendazole has been already reported in several countries as well (e.g. Argentina, Australia, Ireland, The Netherlands, Spain, etc.). It is not as widespread and high as in gastrointestinal roundworms, but it will certainly strengthen and spread quickly unless measures are taken to delay it.
This means that if this product does not achieve the expected efficacy against the mentioned parasites, it can be due to resistance and not to incorrect use, which is usually the most frequent cause of product failure.
- Macrocyclic lactones (e.g. abamectin, doramectin, eprinomectin, ivermectin, moxidectin, etc.): only against gastrointestinal roundworms, ineffective against flukes or tapeworms. Resistance to macrocyclic lactones is also increasing and strengthening quickly in many countries.
- Levamisole: only against gastrointestinal roundworms, ineffective against flukes or tapeworms. Resistance to levamisole has been reported in most countries, but is usually less strong and frequent than to benzimidazoles.
- Monepantel: only against gastrointestinal roundworm species in sheep & goats in some countries (e.g. Australia, UK & EU, New Zealand). First cases of resistance reported in New Zealand in 2013. Ineffective against flukes or tapeworms.
- Salicylanilides (e.g. closantel, niclosamide, rafoxanide): only in some countries against liver flukes, certain gastrointestinal roundworm species or tapeworms. Resistance to closantel has been reported in some countries. Not available in all countries.
- Tetrahydropyrimidines (e.g. morantel, pyrantel): only against certain gastrointestinal roundworms, ineffective against flukes or tapeworms. Not available in some countries. Resistance to morantel has been reported in some countries.
- Clorsulon: only against liver flukes (Fasciola hepatica), ineffective against roundworms or tapeworms.
- Nitroxinil: only against liver flukes (Fasciola hepatica) and a few gastrointestinal roundworms (e.g. Bunostomum spp, Haemonchus spp, Oesophagostomum spp). Not available in some countries. Ineffective against tapeworms.
These alternative products may not be available in all countries, or may not be available as drenches, or may not be effective against all the concerned parasites.
It is highly recommended to periodically check (e.g. every 2 years) the resistance status of each property performing appropriate tests (e.g. faecal egg counts) under supervision of a veterinary doctor. Such tests are now routinely available for most producers in developed countries.
Are the active ingredients of this product ORIGINAL* or GENERICS**?
*Meaning that they are still patent protected and generics are not yet available
**Meaning that they have lost patent protection and may be acquired from manufacturers of generic active ingredients other than the holder of the original patent.
COUNTRIES where this brand/product is marketed: Ireland.
GENERIC BRANDS available? Yes, in most countries
Click here to learn more about GENERIC vs. ORIGINAL drugs.
For an overview on the most used drench brands for livestock click here.
FLEXIBEN is a classic anthelmintic drench brand with generic albendazole marketed by OSMONDS in Ireland. It contains also Selenium and Cobalt that have no anthelmintic efficacy whatsoever, but are essential trace elements for ruminants.
Albendazole is a veteran benzimidazole introduced in the 1970's by SMITH-KLINE (later PFIZER, now ZOETIS). Albendazole was the first benzimidazole with a broad-spectrum of activity, i.e. effective against all three major classes of parasitic worms: Roundworms (gastrointestinal and pulmonary), tapeworms, and flukes (only adults). Most other benzimidazoles are not effective against flukes, and the oldest ones are also ineffective against tapeworms. Albendazole also kills eggs of roundworms and flukes (ovicidal activity). All this made albendazole particularly popular for use on livestock. As other benzimidazoles, albendazole has no efficacy whatsoever against external parasites (ticks, flies, lice, mites, etc). However, albendazole is not effective against acute fasciolasis of sheep caused by massive infections with larvae of Fasciola hepatica migrating through the liver. The reason is that albendazole is not effective against larval stages of Fasciola hepatica. Albendazole t is massively used in ruminants, less in swine, poultry, horses and pets. It is not used in agriculture.
A significant disadvantage of albendazole is that it can be teratogenic (other benzimidazoles too, e.g. ricobendazole, parbendazole and cambendazole), i.e. it can cause malformations in the embryos and therefore should not be administered to pregnant animals.
As all benzimidazoles (as well as other anthelmintics such as levamisole, monepantel, and tetrahydropyrimidines), albendazole administered as a drench has no residual effect, i.e. it kills the parasites shortly after administration, but does not significantly protect the animals against re-infestation by infective stages in their environment
Drench is the most used delivery form for albendazole, but in many countries it is also available in the form of feed additives (mainly for pig & poultry) and other delivery forms for oral administration (boluses, tablets, etc). As most benzimidazoles albendazole it is not appropriate for intramuscular or subcutaneous injection due to its poor solubility in water, but intraruminal injection is very popular in Latin America.
Both for livestock and pets albendazole is often used in combinations that broaden the spectrum of activity or try to overcome potential resistance. Typical mixtures for livestock include a flukicide (e.g. closantel, etc.) and/or a macrocyclic lactone, and/or levamisole, although such mixtures are not approved everywhere. For dogs and cats it is often combined with a taenicide (e.g. praziquantel).
Unfortunately, resistance of several gastrointestinal roundworms to all benzimidazoles (including albendazole) is already very high and very frequent worldwide in sheep and goats, slightly lower in cattle, which has significantly reduced their usage in livestock. Nowadays more convenient pour-ons and injectables containing macrocyclic lactones (e.g. abamectin, doramectin, eprinomectin, ivermectin, moxidectin) are often preferred over drenches. These compounds also ensure several weeks protection against re-infestation by several worm species, in contrast with all benzimidazoles that lack any residual effect.
In ruminants, reducing the amount of feed slows down the exit flow of the rumen and prolongs the time during which the active ingredient remains there and is absorbed. Consequently it is advisable to reduce the access of animals to feed (especially to fresh pasture, not to water) 24 hours before administration. For the same reason, it is better to keep the animals away from food for about 6 hours after drenching. However sick or weak animals should not be kept away from food and fasting animals should have access to water. In cattle, a fiber-rich diet also increases the bioavailability of albendazole.
In contrast with this, administration of albendazole with the food increases its bioavailability in carnivores, including dogs and cats.
Albendazole active ingredient is a solid compound poorly soluble in water and in drenches it is formulated as a suspension (not as a solution or as an emulsion). A key unfavorable feature of all suspensions is that the suspended solid particles tend to fall down to the bottom of the container and sediment, very much like sand in water. This means that suspensions must be thoroughly shaken before use. How fast the suspension sediments and how easily shaking the container redistributes the suspension depends on the formulation quality. A good formulation sediments slowly and shaking will re-suspend it quickly. Bad formulations sediment quickly and shaking re-suspends them slowly.
Thoroughly shaking suspensions before use is crucial for efficacy. If the active ingredient remains in the sediment, a few animals may get most of the active ingredient and will be overdosed, and the large majority will get almost only solvents and will be underdosed.
Click here for general information on good practices for the prevention and control of gastrointestinal worms in livestock.
This article IS NOT A PRODUCT LABEL. It offers complementary information that may be useful to veterinary professionals and users that are not familiar with veterinary antiparasitics.
Information offered in this article has been extracted from publications issued by manufacturers, government agencies (e.g. EMEA, FDA, USDA, etc.) or in the scientific literature. No guarantee is given on its accuracy, integrity, sufficiency, actuality and opportunity, and any liability is denied. Read the site's DISCLAIMER.
In case of doubt contact the manufacturer or a veterinary professional.