Anti-cancerous Effect of Mebendazole

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Mebendazole (MZ) (methyl 5-benzoyl-2-benzimidazole-carbamate) is a broad-spectrum anthelmintic (antiworm) drug. It is used to inhibit the growth and multiplication of newly hatched insects in your body. It promotes the depolymerization of tubulin and destroys the function of microtubules in insects. Benzimidazole has two derivatives MZ and albendazole. MZ has anticancer activity. It causes mitotic arrest in cancerous cells that leads to cell death. It is very effective against lung cancer.

Non-small cell lung cancer

Lung cancer is one of the leading causes of death all over the world. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is very common kind (85%) of lung cancer in smokers and non-smokers. It is more common in females than in males. NSCLCs have a very poor prognosis and such patients are less sensitive to chemotherapy as compared to small cell carcinoma.

Mechanism of Action

Scientific studies have shown that MZ prevents the normal spindle formation in NSCLC by inhibiting the polymerization of tubulin. This abnormal spindle formation causes mitotic arrest at prometaphase of cell division and ultimately leads to cell death. Mebendazole also induces phosphorylation and produces changes in the expression of cell cycle regulatory proteins that are also associated with the mitotic arrest. After the mitotic arrest in cancer cells, Mebendazole initiates apoptosis (cell death) in NSCLC cells. However, this mechanism is not entirely understood. Chemotherapeutic agent paclitaxel acts on these cancerous cells just like MZ by more than one pathway, induces the destruction of mitochondria and causes apoptosis. It causes phosphorylation of certain proteins such as Bcl-xl or Bcl-2 and damages the microtubules of the cell. Studies claimed that this phosphorylated protein Bcl-xl or Bcl-2 causes increased Bax level. This condition favors cell apoptosis.

In vitro MZ treatment

In vitro treatment, MZ prevents the growth of NSCLC cell lines. Only 0.1 µM dose of MZ can suppress the proliferation of cells significantly. A dose of 10 µM suppresses the 75% of cell lines. The standard dose is 0.5 µM for in vitro experiments. In NSCLC cell lines, A549 cells are the least sensitive cells to MZ and H460 cells are the most sensitive cells to Mebendazole. It causes condensation and destruction of the nuclear membrane that leads to mitotic arrest of dividing cancer cells. Researches show that when in vitro apoptosis was induced by MZ Treatment, after 24 hours, sub-diploid cells increased significantly. The level of cells increases with the duration of treatment. It suggests that Mebendazole promotes cell death after the mitotic arrest. MZ induce mitochondria to secrete of cytochrome c to the cytosol of the cell.

Spindle Formation

Proper spindle formation is essential for the normal division of cells. Mebendazole treatment induces abnormal spindle formation in tumor cells. When such cells are treated with Mebendazole, paclitaxel (a chemotherapeutic drug), nocodazole (antineoplastic agent) or DMSO (dietary supplement), they target tubulin polymerization and its status varies with different chemical agents.

In Vivo Tumor Suppression

In scientific research, cells of mice were treated in vivo by Mebendazole with varying doses, it was found that cells receiving 1-mg MZ dose, showed growth inhibition effect remarkably. Numerous experiments showed that MZ treatment is more effective than other chemotherapeutic agents in suppressing cell growth.

Effect of MZ on s.c. Tumor Growth

The anti-cancerous effects of MZ were experimented on H460 xenografts in mice. When tumor cells attained a diameter of 5 mm, a dose of 1mg was given through the oral route. After a treatment period of 7 days, tumor cells showed significant suppression and apoptosis. The following figure shows the remarkable effectiveness of MZ treatment on the tumor cells.   Vitamins + fenbendazole Scientific studies claim that a combination of vitamins and Fenbendazole is effective in suppressing human lymphoma cells. But when we treat the tumor with only fenbendazole, it has no inhibitory effects on tumor cells. Vitamins D, K, A, B, E are supplemented. Vitamins A and E possess antioxidant properties, so they are effective against tumor cells. They inhibit the nuclear transcription factor.


Mebendazole is a famous antiparasitic drug and it has significant activity in microtubule and fibroblast inhibition and suppresses the tumor cells remarkably. No side effects have been reported so far. But when MZ is used to treat alveolar echinococcosis (a parasitic disorder) for the long term, it shows a little bit of tolerable toxicity. But when these cancerous cells are treated with other anthelmintic agents like albendazole, neutropenia is reported. MZ is a useful chemotherapeutic agent and can be used in lung cancer therapy. But when MZ is compared with other chemotherapeutic agents like nocodazole, it is less efficient in depolymerization of tubulin and inducing abnormal spindle formation and in cancerous cells.

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Donte Slim

    I have read so many content about this however this post is really nice, keep
    it up.


      Dear Donte,

      Thank you for your appreciation! We are happy to provide information that helps.

      Best regards,

  2. Kilwanna Williams

    Can I purchase this drug? My uncle has stage 2 cancer. Will my Provider/Presribe this for me?
    Thanks Kilwanna


      Dear Kilwanna,
      thank you for your question. Depending on where you live, you can buy mebendazole without a prescription or with a prescription from your doctor. Most doctors won’t give you mebendazole if you don’t have parasites, so you can try purchasing fenbendazole instead if you can’t get mebendazole. Fenbendazole is available as a veterinary medicine (Panacur or Safeguard). You can also check the “suppliers” section of our page for a more complete list of places where you can get some fenbendazole. Hope this helps

  3. Louise

    Thank you so much for putting this info out there. Seriously amazing

  4. Mary B.

    Where can I purchase mebendazole?

  5. Charlie Castro

    Is Fenbendazole or mebendazole better for Glioblastoma??

  6. Julius

    Can Milk thistle replace tudca? I’m taking milk thistle with mebendazole, I want to add fenben and wonder if I can stay on milk thistle or need to add tudca?


      You can use milk thistle as long as you don’t have an estrogen or HER2 driven cancer.

  7. Lauren Chun

    I started taking febendazole yesterday, I’m having a constant headache and could not sleep. Is that normal? Has anyone else experienced the same thing? I used to take mebendazole for over a year and now I switched.

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