Ivermectin is in the class of medications called anthelmintics used to treat certain parasitic roundworm infections. This is a prescription medicine that paralyzes and kills parasites. Curing parasitic infection helps improve quality of life. In people with weakened defense systems, curing roundworm infections could decrease the risk of developing a severe infection.
This medicine works by paralyzing and killing the offspring of adult worms. It can also delay the percentage at which adult worms replicate. As a result, there are fewer worms in the eyes, blood, and skin.
When and How to Use Ivermectin
The dose of Ivermectin will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor’s directions. Do not change your dose if it is different unless your doctor tells you to do so. The quantity of medication that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Similarly, the time allowed between doses and the numbers of dose you take each day to depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
Ivermectin is best taken as a single dose with a full glass of water on an empty stomach particularly 1 hour before breakfast. To help clear up your infection, take Ivermectin exactly as directed. Your doctor may want you to take another dose every 3 to 12 months.
Your doctor will also give corticosteroids for patients with severe symptoms of river blindness. This is to help decrease the inflammation initiated by the death of the worms. If your doctor recommends these two medications together, it is important to take the corticosteroid together with Ivermectin. Take them correctly as directed by your doctor. Do not miss any doses.
Possible Side Effects of Ivermectin
Common side effects:
- Stomach pain or bloating
- Loss of appetite
- Chest discomfort
- Uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
If you have these serious side effects that won’t go away, call your doctor right away;
- Blistering or peeling skin
What should I know before taking Ivermectin?
- Let your doctor know if you are allergic to this drug or if you have any allergies to any medications.
- Tell your pharmacist and doctor what other prescriptions or non-prescription you are taking. Tell as well if you are taking nutritional supplements, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure to mention it to your healthcare provider if you are taking medications for mental illness, anxiety, muscle relaxants, seizures, or sleeping pills.
- Inform your doctor if you plan to become pregnant, pregnant, or breastfeeding. If you get pregnant while taking this medication, call your doctor right away.
- If you have any special dietary instructions, you need to follow them unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
- This drug may make your asthma worse or may cause a seizure. Ask your doctor if this is safe for you before taking a dose.
- If you have a history of liver issues or liver problems, this medicine might cause harm to your liver. You may not be able to process the drug well. Also, this might increase the levels of the drug in your body and cause more side effects.
- If you have HIV or a condition where your immune system does not function well as it should, one dose of this medication might not be enough to treat your condition. You may need several treatments with this prescription.
- Don’t leave this medication in the car or put it in your car’s glove compartment. Make sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very cold or very hot.
- Keep Ivermectin at room temperature. Don’t store this in moist or damp areas.
Getting the Best Result from Ivermectin
- If you’re taking this drug for skin and eye infections, your doctor will do follow-up eye exams to make sure this drug isn’t causing serious eye problems.
- If you take this drug for skin or eye parasite infections, your doctor will do follow-up exams to measure the number of microfilariae in your skin and eyes. If it does not improve with treatment, your doctor may have you take another dose of this drug sooner.
- If you are taking this medicine for intestinal parasite infections, your doctor will make sure to have follow-up stool checks to ensure you are no longer infected with the parasite.
- There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.