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Generic Name: benznidazole (benz NID a zole)
Brand Names:
Benznidazole is an antiprotozoal medicine. It is used treat an infection called American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease) in children 2 to 12 years of age.
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Drug Information:
Benznidazole is an antibiotic that is used to treat Chagas disease in children ages 2 through 12 years. Chagas disease (also called American trypanosomiasis) is an infection caused by a parasite common to the areas of South America, Central America and Mexico. Benznidazole was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on an "accelerated" basis. In clinical studies, some people responded to benznidazole, but further studies are needed. Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use. Learn more

Benznidazole Side Effects

Benznidazole Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to benznidazole: oral tablet

Along with its needed effects, benznidazole may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking benznidazole:

More common

  • Black, tarry stools
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • cough
  • fever
  • painful or difficult urination
  • rash
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • swollen glands
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Less common

  • Burning, numbness, tingling, or painful sensations
  • headache
  • tremors
  • unsteadiness or awkwardness
  • weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet

Incidence not known

  • Bleeding gums
  • blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • blood in the urine or stools
  • dark urine
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty in moving
  • general tiredness and weakness
  • inability to concentrate
  • itching
  • light-colored stools
  • muscle pain or stiffness
  • nausea
  • pain, swelling, or redness in the joints
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • red, irritated eyes
  • seizures
  • swelling of the eyelid, arms, or legs
  • swollen, painful, or tender lymph glands in the neck, armpit, or groin
  • temporary disorientation
  • temporary loss of memory
  • trouble sleeping
  • upper right abdominal pain
  • vomiting
  • yellow eyes and skin

Some side effects of benznidazole may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Decreased appetite
  • decreased weight
  • stomach pain

Incidence not known

  • Bone pain
  • dry mouth
  • loss of sense of taste
  • loss of strength
  • muscle aching or cramping

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to benznidazole: oral tablet


This drug was used in 55 pediatric patients (aged 6 to 12 years) and 64 pediatric patients (aged 7 to 12 years) during 2 controlled trials and 37 pediatric patients (aged 2 to 12 years) in an uncontrolled trial; each patient had chronic indeterminate Chagas disease.

In 1 controlled trial, this drug was discontinued due to at least 1 side effect in 5 of 55 patients; such side effects included abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, rash, decreased appetite, headache, and elevated transaminases. The most commonly reported side effects in this trial were abdominal pain, rash, decreased weight, and headache.

In the uncontrolled trial, rash, leukopenia, urticaria, eosinophilia, decreased appetite, and neutropenia were reported in 6 of 19 pediatric patients (aged 2 to 6 years); such side effects were similar to those reported in the overall population of 37 patients.


Very common (10% or more): Abdominal pain (up to 25%)

Common (1% to 10%): Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea

Postmarketing reports: Epigastric pain, dry mouth


Extensive skin reactions (such as rash [maculopapular, pruritic macules, eczema, pustules, erythematous, generalized, allergic dermatitis, exfoliative dermatitis]) have been reported. Most cases occurred after about 10 days of therapy; most rashes resolved with discontinuation of therapy.

Very common (10% or more): Rash (16%), urticaria (16%), skin lesions (11%)

Frequency not reported: Severe skin and soft tissue reactions, serious skin and subcutaneous disorders (including eosinophilic drug reaction), extensive skin reactions (such as rash [maculopapular, pruritic macules, eczema, pustules, allergic dermatitis])

Postmarketing reports: Maculopapular cutaneous eruptions, erythematous plaques, generalized rash, erythematous rash, pruritic rash, blistering eruptions, peeling skin, exfoliative dermatitis, toxic epidermal necrolysis, acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis, erythema multiforme, drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms


Very common (10% or more): Leukopenia (16%), eosinophilia (16%), neutropenia (16%)

Frequency not reported: Hematological manifestations of bone marrow depression (such as neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, anemia, leukopenia)

Postmarketing reports: Lymphadenopathy, thrombocytopenia, granulocytopenia, agranulocytosis


Very common (10% or more): Decreased appetite (up to 16%)

Common (1% to 10%): Anorexia


Very common (10% or more): Decreased weight (13%)

Frequency not reported: Genotoxicity

Postmarketing reports: Fever, asthenia, fatigue, generalized edema, edema in the extremities, elevated alkaline phosphatase

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Headache, dizziness, peripheral neuropathy, tremor

Postmarketing reports: Paresthesia, hypoesthesia, headaches, convulsions, inability to concentrate, temporary amnesia, ageusia


Common (1% to 10%): Elevated transaminases

Postmarketing reports: Hepatitis, toxic hepatitis, elevated bilirubin


Common (1% to 10%): Arthralgia

Postmarketing reports: Myalgia, musculoskeletal pain, migratory arthritis


Postmarketing reports: Insomnia, temporary disorientation


Postmarketing reports: Eyelid edema

Editorial References and Review

Medically reviewed by BestRx Medical Team Last updated on 1/1/2020.

Source: Drugs.com Benznidazole