All About Ivermectin : Parasitic Killer | Pharmacology


Before beginning with Ivermectin you must know why do we need this. You know there are a variety of parasites live around us everytime. They are various types such as roundworm, hookworm, pin worm, thread worm, whip worm, filaria, guineaworm, tapeworm etc. These all parasites either live inside of the body of the host ( known as endo-parasites) or live on body surface ( ecto-parasites ). All these infect us in various forms and sometimes cause death of the person. Anti-helmintic drugs are the drugs used to kill these parasites. It is one of the first drug of choice of doctor for treatment of parasitic infection.

pinworm is killed by ivermectin


It is an anti parasite medicine which is also known as anthelmintic drug. It is used to prevent diseases or infections derived from parasites. This medicine is available in different doses like 3 mg / 6 mg / 12 mg. It is a dispersible and coated form. Generally a doctor recommend this in combination with albendazole but it is available in the market in single salt also. Ivermectin is a broad spectrum of anti helmintic drug which means it also kills a variety of worms in the stomach. Due to it’s varieties of killing of many worms it’s inventor Satoshi Omura ( 1960 ) was awarded noble prize for his great boon to us. WHO has added ivermectin in the essential drug list.

Source of obtaining ivermectin

It is a semi-synthetic macrocyclic lactone drug. Semi- synthetic drug means a drug which neither completely natural nor completely man made ( artificially ). It is made by using chemicals and enzymes with natural materials and convert them into final product. It is obtained from a microbe called streptomycin avermitilis of actinomycete family. Ivermectin is a drug of choice for strongyloidiasis and onchocerciasis.

thread worm is killed by ivermectin

Mechanism of action

The first thing you must know that it is a chloride channel blocker. You know very well that there are many channels located on the surface of the cell membrane to transport the ions across the cell membrane means from outside to inside of the cell and vice versa. So ivermectin is the chloride channel blocker. It blocks the chloride channels and whenever it blocks the channel, it will leads to hyperpolarization which results the nerves and muscles paralysis. This paralysis further cause the death of the micro organism. The half life of ivermectin is about 16 hours. Means it becomes half of it’s initial dose within 16 hours in the body. Ivermectin is a microfilaricidal but not a macrofilaricidal.

ivermectin treats pediculosis

Uses ( When to take )

A doctor recommends this drug in the following conditions :

  • Parasitic infection
  • Thread worm infection ( itching around anal region )
  • Pinworm infection ( same as TWI )
  • Filariasis ( inflammation and redness of skin due to blood sucker parasites )
  • Head lice
  • Scabies ( also known as skin lice )
  • River blindness ( chronic itching in skin with red rashes and leads to blindness due to blackfly infection )
  • Whipworm infection ( asymptomatic but generally includes amoebiasis and bloody stool )
  • Ascariasis ( common in children, symptoms include anorexia, abdominal pain, malnutrition, disturbed learning capacity )
  • Visceral larva migrants
  • Strongyloidiasis ( infection due to roundworm )
  • Pediculosis ( itching on sole of foot in babies )
  • Ectoparasitosis ( parasitic infection on body surface )
hookworm is killed by ivermectin

Contraindications ( When not to take )

Don’t take ivermectin if you have the followings :

  • Liver diseases
  • Kidney diseases
  • Cancer
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding mother
  • Children less than 5 years age
  • Children with weight less than 15 kg.
head lice scabies lice

Side effects

  • Redness of eyes
  • Dry skin with redness
  • Burning skin
  • Skin rashes
  • Itching
  • Fever
  • Muscle & joint pain
  • Headache
  • Edema ( Swelling on face & lips )
  • Dizziness
  • Decrease WBC ( if take longer time )
  • Nausea and vomiting

Interaction of ivermectin

Interaction of a drug simply means that you don’t get the desirable effect. Either it will show less effects or more effect ( hypersensitivity ). Generally ivermectin can be given with some drugs to get better results. It is given in combination with albendazole. But it shows interaction with some drugs which are as follows :

  • Azythromycin
  • BCG vaccine
  • Cholera vaccine
  • Typhoid vaccine
  • Warfarin
  • Lacobacillus
  • Estradiol
roundoworm ascaris

Dosage of ivermectin

Pediatric dose – 0.2 mg / kg single dose. The dose may repeat after two weeks.

Adult dose – 12 mg single dose. May repeat after 3 -12 months.

Note : The effects are seen best if ivermectin is taken 1 hour prior to meal or 2 hours after the meal.
In this covid-19 era, you can take ivermectin to prevent you from viral load in your body. You can take ivermectin 12 mg dose in three parts. If you start 12 mg dose of ivermectin today then second dose will be taken after 4 months and next of next dose will be taken after 4 months. If you take first dose on 1st January, then next dose will be taken on 1st May and third dose will be taken on 1st September.

Can ivermectin be used in COVID-19 treatment ?

According to latest research on ivermectin, it decreases the load of virus in covid-19 case. It decreases the virus load approximately 99.8% in covid-19 case. It inhibits ( stop ) the multiplication of virus and makes it slow. But yet approval is pending for this research from FDA. But it is being believed that it may be used in treatment of covid-19.

Brands under ivermectin is sold

  • Iverin
  • Ivermectol
  • Scavista
  • Vermin
  • Ivermect
  • Vermectin
  • Ascapil
  • Scabicaro


1. Don’t do any heavy work or muscular work after taking the ivermectin.
2. Walk slowly while stepping up.
3. Don’t wake up suddenly with a jerk.
4. Don’t do driving after taking this drug.

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