Ivermectin – Uses, Side Effects, and Precaution

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Ivermectin

What is Ivermectin?

Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic medicine that is used to treat conditions caused by parasitic diseases.

It is a drug approved by the FDA for use in humans to treat parasitic infections such as parasitic worms, hookworm, and whipworm. It may also be used to treat a variety of other conditions, including onchocerciasis, intestinal strongyloidiasis, and river blindness.

This medicine has been shown to have antiviral activity against a wide variety of RNA and DNA viruses, including dengue, Zika, and yellow fever. It is available in various dosage strengths such as Ivermectin 3mg, Ivermectin 6mg, Ivermectin 12mg, Generic Ivermectin injection.

Ivermectin Uses

  • Ivermectin oral tablet is used to treat parasitic infections. 
  • It may also be used to treat a variety of other conditions, including onchocerciasis, intestinal strongyloidiasis, and river blindness.

Ivermectin Side Effects

There might be some common side effects of this medications such as- 

  • Dizziness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain or bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Weakness
  • Sleepiness
  • Chest Discomfort

Some side effects show the severity of diseases. Some of the danger side effects are –

  • Swelling of the face
  • Joint Pain
  • Painful and swollen glands
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Eye pain and redness
  • Fever
  • Blistering or peeling skin
  • Rashes
  • Hives
  • Itching

It is rare that a severe allergic reaction is caused due to medications. However, seek medical attention immediately if you notice any of the above mentioned severe allergic reactions.

How to take Ivermectin?

  • Ivermectin should never be taken in larger doses or for longer than what your doctor has prescribed. 
  • It should be taken on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.
  • If you have a weakened immune system (due to some health condition or regular high dose medication), you might need to adjust you dosages of this medicine. Some people with weakened immune systems are required to take this medication on a regular basis. Follow your doctor’s advice.
  • Your dosage, drug form, and frequency of administration will depend on some factors such as your age, the condition being treated, and the severity of your condition, and some other health related factors that might affect you while taking this medication.

Ivermectin Dose

The dose and the strength will be decided by your doctor after examining age, weight, health condition, severity of condition etc. generally it is available in following strength –

  • Generic: Ivermectin (Form of oral tablet) the strength given is 3 mg
  • Brand: Stromectol (Form of oral tablet) the strength given is 3 mg

Missed dose

Because this medicine is typically administered as a single dose, you might not be given the dosing schedule. But in case you’re on a medication schedule, you can take the missed dosage as soon as you remember it. 

If your next scheduled dose is nearby, skip the forgotten dose of this medication. Do not take extra medication doses to make up for a missed dose or forgotten dose.

Overdose

If you have taken an extra dose or you have taken more than what is advised or prescribed to you, immediately contact a doctor. Overdose can affect you badly sometimes. 

After taking more if you are feeling dizzy or unconscious, don’t panic just consult your doctor, tell about how many doses you have taken and at what time. A doctor will guide you in this situation.

How does it work?

It belongs to a class of medications known as anti-parasitic drugs and Ivermectin work mechanism is to stop parasites growing by destroying them . The oral tablets ( Ivermectin 3mg, Ivermectin 6mg, Ivermectin 12mg) work by binding to parasite components. It eventually paralyses and kills the parasite, or it prevents adult parasites from producing larvae for a short period of time. This will result in curing your infection.

How long does Ivermectin stay in your system?

Ivermectin (Stromectol) begins to leave your bloodstream after about 18 hours, but it remains in your intestines for 12 days, killing any worms there.

How long do Ivermectin side effects last?

It is rare that a severe allergic reaction is caused due to medications. However if you experience common side effects it might affect you till 20 to 40 minutes, after that it will go. But if it does not go please consult a doctor.

Is Ivermectin safe?

Ivermectin has a broad therapeutic index and is commonly used in humans to treat parasitic diseases in single or multiple doses. When taken orally as a tablet, it has a proven safety profile. A weight-based dosing chart is shown in Table 1. The recommended safe dose is 150-200 g/kg body weight per day.

Do you need a prescription for Ivermectin?

You require a doctor’s prescription because it comes in different forms and strengths and dosage also depends on the severity of your case. Hence before consuming any dose of this medicine please consult your doctor.

Precautions

  • This medication may cause dizziness. You may become dizzy if you consume alcohol or use marijuana. Try quitting alcohol for some interval until you complete the treatment.
  • Do not do driving after intake of this medicine because it might make you feel sleepy or drowsy
  • Inform your doctor about all of the medications you use before having surgery (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
  • If you have a weakened immune system, you may need to use this medication with proper medical guidance of your doctor. For more information, consult your doctor.
  • Do Not adjust your doses on your own. Never try to self medicate.
  • If you feel that the side effects are not the normal effects or the side effects are not going, immediately inform your doctor.
  • If you missed the dose of this medicine continue to take the next dose. 
  • Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to ivermectin or if you have any other allergies before taking it. 
  • Before using this medication, inform your doctor or pharmacist of your medical history, particularly if you have had liver problems.

Warnings

Asthmatics: This medication may aggravate your asthma. So if you have respiratory issues. Please ask your healthcare provider about the complications possible.

For people with liver problems: If you have liver problems or a history of liver problems, this drug may exacerbate your liver’s damage. You may also be unable to process this medication properly. This may raise the levels of the drug in your body, resulting in more side effects. 

Seizures: This medication may cause seizures. So consult your doctor and tell your medical history so that he can guide you properly.

For people with HIV: If you have HIV or a condition that causes your immune system to malfunction, one dose of this medication may not be enough to treat your parasitic infection. With this medication, you may require multiple treatments.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding:  if you are pregnant or trying to conceive, ask your doctor whether this medicine will be safe to take for the baby or not. This is excreted in breast milk. Although there have been no reports of nursing infants being harmed, you should consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Interactions

Ivermectin injection may interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbal supplements you are taking. When a substance alters the way a drug works, this is referred to as an interaction. This can be dangerous or prevent the drug from working properly.

To avoid interactions, your doctor will manage all of your medications. Make sure your doctor is aware of any medications, vitamins, or herbs you are taking. Consult your doctor or pharmacist to learn how this medication may interact with other medications you are taking.

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