Also Known As: Ivermectin, Stromectol
Ivermectin (22,23-dihydroavermectin B1a + 22,23-dihydroavermectin B1b) is a broad-spectrum antiparasitic avermectin medicine.
It is sold under brand names Stromectol in the United States, Ivomec in Europe by Merial Animal Health, Mectizan in Canada by Merck and Ivexterm in Mexico by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International. While in development, it was assigned the code MK-933 by Merck.
Ivermectin is a broad-spectrum antiparasitic agent.
It is traditionally used against worms.
It is mainly used in humans in the treatment of onchocerciasis, but is also effective against other worm infestations (such as strongyloidiasis, ascariasis, trichuriasis, filariasis, enterobiasis and some epidermal parasitic skin diseases (EPSDs), including scabies.
Ivermectin, under the brand name Mectizan, is currently being used to help eliminate river blindness (onchocerciasis) in the Americas, and to stop transmission of lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis around the world. Currently, large amounts of ivermectin are donated by Merck to fight river blindness in countries unable to afford the drug. The disease is endemic in 30 African countries, six Latin American countries, and Yemen, according to studies conducted by the World Health Organization. The drug rapidly kills microfilariae, but not the adult worms. A single oral dose of ivermectin, taken annually for the 10-15 year life span of the adult worms, is all that is needed to protect the individual from onchocerciasis.
More recent evidence supports its off-label use against arthropods:
- Mites such as scabies. It is usually limited to cases that prove resistant to topical treatments and/or which present in an advanced state (such as Norwegian scabies).