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Ivermectin

Ivermectin

Uses

This medication is used to treat certain parasitic roundworm infections. Curing parasitic infections helps to improve your quality of life. In people with weakened defense (immune) systems, curing roundworm infections can reduce the risk of developing a severe or life-threatening infection. Ivermectin belongs to a class of drugs known as antihelmintics. It works by paralyzing and killing parasites.

How to use Ivermectin

Take this medication by mouth with a full glass of water (8 ounces or 240 milliliters) on an empty stomach at least 1 hour before a meal. Ivermectin is usually taken as a single dose or series of doses, or as directed by your doctor.Dosage is based on your weight, medical condition, and response to treatment.

What is ivermectin?

Ivermectin is a prescription drug. It comes as an oral tablet, topical cream, and topical lotion.

Ivermectin oral tablet is available as the brand-name drug Stromectol. It’s also available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less than the brand-name version. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name drug.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Ivermectin is used to treat strongyloidiasis (threadworm; infection with a type of roundworm that enters the body through the skin, moves through the airways and lives in the intestines). Ivermectin is also used to control onchocerciasis (river blindness; infection with a type of roundworm that may cause rash, bumps under the skin, and vision problems including vision loss or blindness). Ivermectin is in a class of medications called anthelmintics. It treats strongyloidosis by killing the worms in the intestines. It treats onchocerciasis by killing the developing worms. Ivermectin does not kill the adult worms that cause onchocerciasis and therefore it will not cure this type of infection.

How should this medicine be used?

Ivermectin comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken as a single dose on an empty stomach with water. If you are taking ivermectin to treat onchocerciasis, additional doses 3, 6, or 12 months later may be necessary to control your infection. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take ivermectin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

 

If you are taking ivermectin to treat strongyloidiasis, you will need to have a stool exam at least three times during the first 3 months after your treatment to see if your infection has cleared. If your infection has not cleared, your doctor will probably prescribe additional doses of ivermectin.

Dosage

Ivermectin is taken orally as tablets. A single dose of 150 to 200 µg/kg body weight needs to be taken annually to be effective. The dosage depends on a person’s body mass, which can be simply calculated according to height.

What side effects can this medication cause?

  • dizziness
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • stomach pain or bloating
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • weakness
  • sleepiness
  • uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
  • chest discomfort

Contraindications

Ivermectin is contraindicated in children under the age of five, or those who weigh less than 15 kilograms (33 pounds)  and those who are breastfeeding, and have a liver or kidney disease.

Ivermectin Warnings

You shouldn’t take ivermectin if you’re allergic to ivermectin or any ingredients in the drug.

Talk to your doctor before taking ivermectin if you have asthma or a skin condition called onychodermatitis.

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