Ivermectin is an antiparasitic medication used to treat a variety of different parasitic infections. It works by acting on glutamate-gated chloride channels in parasites, which prevents them from getting the nutrition they need to survive and causes their death. It is also known as ‘Mectizan’ and has been shown to be particularly effective against onchocerciasis, commonly known as river blindness. This article explores everything you need to know about ivermectin including; its uses, side effects, dosage, and how it works.
What is Ivermectin?
Ivermectin is a medicine that is used to treat parasitic worms. It is also given to people who are at risk of getting these infections. The drug fights off parasites by preventing them from getting the nutrients that they need to survive. It is used to treat people who have a number of different types of infections, including scabies, river blindness, and lymphatic filariasis. Ivermectin is a member of a group of medicines called antiparasitic drugs. These work by killing parasites or preventing them from growing and multiplying. Ivermectin is used to treat scabies, a condition caused by tiny mites that live in the skin and cause itching and rash. It is also used to treat other types of infections caused by parasites, including river blindness and lymphatic filariasis.
How Does Ivermectin Work?
Parasitic worms that cause infections in humans have special proteins in their gut that are essential for them to live. Ivermectin is designed to selectively kill the parasites by preventing these proteins from working. Specifically, it blocks their glutamate-gated chloride channels, which are required for the parasites to be able to get the nutrition they need to survive and thrive. This causes the parasites to die, while leaving the human cells unharmed.
Ivermectin can be used to treat a range of different conditions caused by parasitic infections, including scabies, river blindness, and lymphatic filariasis. For scabies, ivermectin can be used on its own or alongside other treatments, such as topical creams or certain antibiotics. For river blindness and lymphatic filariasis, ivermectin is often used as part of combination treatments, alongside other drugs to kill the parasites and reduce the risk of the infection coming back. Ivermectin is usually given once a year as a single oral dose. For lymphatic filariasis, it can be given once every two years.
Side Effects of Taking Ivermectin
Ivermectin is generally safe for most people and has few side effects. However, it can cause some problems in people who are allergic to it. People who are allergic to ivermectin may notice a rash, itching, swelling, or tingling sensations in their hands or feet. In rare cases, ivermectin can also cause nervous system problems. These side effects can be dangerous and even deadly.
How to Take Ivermectin?
Ivermectin is used to treat a variety of parasitic infections. It is most commonly used to treat scabies, a skin condition caused by tiny mites that live in the skin. It can also be used to treat river blindness and lymphatic filariasis. For scabies: The recommended dose of ivermectin is a single oral dose of 150 micrograms per kilogram of body weight. It should be taken once a day for two days, followed by two days without the drug. It can be taken with or without food. For river blindness: The recommended dose of ivermectin is either two oral doses of 150 micrograms per kilogram of body weight two weeks apart or a single oral dose of 200 micrograms per kilogram of body weight once. It is recommended to drink plenty of water while using ivermectin. For lymphatic filariasis: The recommended dose of ivermectin is either a single oral dose of 200 micrograms per kilogram of body weight or a dose of 150 micrograms per kilogram of body weight once every two years.
Ivermectin is a drug that can be used to treat a range of different parasitic infections, including scabies, river blindness, and lymphatic filariasis. It works by preventing the parasites from getting the nutrients they need to survive. It is generally safe for most people, but can cause some side effects in people who are allergic to it.