Prescription vs OTC: Prescription by Doctor not required
Last Updated: March 17, 2022

Ivermectin is used to cure cases of strongyloidiasis; which are roundworm infections. It also effectively treats head lice, scabies and river blindness. It falls under the group of drugs called anthelmintic. Ivermectin works in the body by killing the developing worms and not the adult ones.

The common side effects that you maybe subject to experience on using Ivermectin are vomiting, nausea, reduced appetite, bloating, abdominal pain, tiredness, constipation, drowsiness, lightheadedness, headache chest pain, shakiness.

If you are receiving treatment for onchocerciasis (river blindness) then you may have certain reactions for the first four days such as swollen eyes and swollen lymph, eye redness or itchiness, fever. However, if these allergic reactions continue, promptly notify your physician.

Before taking Ivermectin discuss with your doctor these pre-existing conditions if any as a precautionary measure. These are:

  • If you are allergic to any ingredient contained within Ivermectin.
  • If you are pregnant, are planning to become pregnant anytime soon, or are breastfeeding.
  • If you are taking prescriptive or non-prescriptive drugs, herbal products, or dietary supplements.
  • If you are suffering from more than one parasitic infection at the same time.
  • If you have asthma or a weak immune system.
  • If you are alcoholic.

The dosage of Ivermectin will be according to your doctor’s prescription. It will be determined by your age, the severity of your condition, your medical history. The adult dose for curing onchocerciasis is 0.15 orally once in every 12 months and for treating strongyloidiasis 0.2 mg orally once.

Those with very severe fungal eye infection may need treatment every 3-6 months. In case of suspected drug overdose seek medical supervision immediately. If infected with strongyloidiasis, repeated stool examinations are required to document clearance of the organisms; repeated follow-up and retreatment is usually required in the treatment of onchocerciasis.

If infected with strongyloidiasis, repeated stool examinations are required to document clearance of the organisms; repeated follow-up and retreatment is usually required in the treatment of onchocerciasis.

Information given here is based on the salt content of the medicine. Uses and effects of the medicine may vary from person to person. It is advisable to consult a Derma before using this medicine.

The primary use of this medication is as follows:

  • Onchocerciasis

    Ivermectin is used in the treatment of onchocerciasis which is a parasitic worm infection caused by Onchocerca volvulus transmitted through the bite of black flies characterized by skin itching and vision impairment.
  • Strongyloidiasis

    Ivermectin is used in the treatment of strongyloidiasis which is an intestinal infection caused by a roundworm called Strongyloides stercoralis characterized by abdominal pain and diarrhea.
  • Scabies

    Ivermectin is used in the treatment of scabies which is a skin infection caused by the mite called Sarcoptes scabiei characterized by itching and red rashes on the skin.
  • Allergy

    Not recommended in patients with known allergy to Ivermectin.

Below are some of the common side effects of this medicine:

  • How long is the duration of effect?

    The medicine stays in the body for an average duration of 2 to 3 days.
  • What is the onset of action?

    The peak effect of this medicine for treating onchocerciasis can be observed in 3 to 6 months and for strongyloidiasis in 3 months.
  • Are there any pregnancy warnings?

    This medicine is not recommended for pregnant women unless necessary. The risk and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before receiving this medicine.
  • Is it habit forming?

    No habit forming tendencies were reported.
  • Are there any breast-feeding warnings?

    This medicine is known to excreted in breastmilk. It is not recommended in breastfeeding women unless necessary. Avoid direct contact of this medicine with the baby.
  • Is It safe with alcohol?

    It is found to be unsafe if consume alcohol with Ivermectin.
  • Is it safe to drive while on this medicine?

    It does not affect the patients ability to drive.
  • Does this affect kidney function?

    Limited information available. Kindly consult your doctor before taking Ivermectin.
  • Does this affect liver function?

    Limited information available. Kindly consult your doctor before taking Ivermectin.
  • Missed Dose instructions

    Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Do not double your dose to make up for the missed dose.
  • Overdose instructions

    Seek emergency medical treatment or contact the doctor in case of an overdose.
  • India

  • United States

  • Japan

Below is the list of medicines, which contains Ivermectin as ingredient

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This medication belongs to broad-spectrum antiparasitic agents. It works by acting on glutamate-gated chloride ion channels which occur in invertebrate nerve and muscle cells. This effect increases the influx of chloride ions and causes hyperpolarization of nerve cells, resulting in paralysis and death of the parasite.

Whenever you take more than one medicine, or mix it with certain foods or beverages, you"re at risk of a drug interaction.

  • Interaction with Alcohol

    Consumption of alcohol is not recommended in patients receiving Ivermectin. It may increase the concentration of this medicine and can cause skin rash, headache, dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
  • Interaction with Lab Test

    Information not available.
  • Interaction with Medicine


    Inform the doctor if you are receiving oxcarbazepine, carbamazepine as these medicines decrease the effect of Ivermectin. Any symptoms of the increase in the severity of infection should be reported to the doctor. The dose adjustments or an alternate medicine should be considered based on the clinical condition.


    These medicines should be used with caution due to increase in the risk of bleeding. Any symptoms of unusual bleeding, blood in stools and vomiting, dizziness should be reported to the doctor. The dose adjustments or an alternate medicine should be considered based on the clinical condition.
  • Interaction with Food

    Information not available.
  • Interaction with Disease

    • Data have shown that antihelmintic drugs like Ivermectin may cause cutaneous and/or systemic reactions (Mazzoti reaction) of varying severity including ophthalmological reactions in patients with onchocerciasis.
    • These reactions are probably due to allergic and inflammatory responses to the death of microfilariae.
    • Patients with hyper-reactive onchodermatitis may be more likely than others to experience severe adverse reactions, especially edema and aggravation of the onchodermatitis.
    • Repeated treatment may be required in immunocompromised patients (eg, HIV); control of extraintestinal strongyloidiasis may necessitate suppressive (once monthly) therapy.

Ques: What is Ivermectin?

Ans: Ivermectin is a salt which performs its action by binding to the muscle and nerve cells of worms, causing their paralysis and death. This treats your infection. Ivermectin is used to treat conditions such as Onchocerciasis, Strongyloidiasis, and Scabies.

Ques: What are the uses of Ivermectin?

Ans: Ivermectin is a salt, which is used for the treatment and prevention of conditions such as Onchocerciasis and Strongyloidiasis. Apart from these, it can also be used to treat conditions like Scabies. The patient should inform the doctor about any ongoing medications and treatment before using Ivermectin to avoid undesirable effects.

Ques: What are the Side Effects of Ivermectin?

Ans: Side effects include fever, muscle pain, skin rash, headache, dizziness, etc.

Ques: What are the instructions for storage and disposal Ivermectin?

Ans: Ivermectin should be kept in a cool dry place and in its original packaging. Make sure this medication remains unreachable to children and pets.

Ques: Is Ivermectin effective?

Ans: Yes, it is effective if used in the dose and duration advised by your doctor. Do not stop taking it even if you see improvement in your condition.

Ques: Is Ivermectin available over the counter?

Ans: No, it is not an OTC medicine. It can only be taken if prescribed by a doctor.

Ques: How does Ivermectin work?

Ans: This drug works by first paralyzing and then later killing the infection-causing organisms.

Ques: What if I forget to take a dose of Ivermectin?

Ans: If you forget a dose of this medication, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next scheduled dose.

Ques: Is Ivermectin safe?

Ans: Yes, it is safe if used in the dose and duration advised by your doctor. Take it exactly as directed and do not skip any dose.
Disclaimer: The information produced here is best of our knowledge and experience and we have tried our best to make it as accurate and up-to-date as possible, but we would like to request that it should not be treated as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Lybrate is a medium to provide our audience with the common information on medicines and does not guarantee its accuracy or exhaustiveness. Even if there is no mention of a warning for any drug or combination, it never means that we are claiming that the drug or combination is safe for consumption without any proper consultation with an expert.

Lybrate does not take responsibility for any aspect of medicines or treatments. If you have any doubts about your medication, we strongly recommend you to see a doctor immediately.

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Content Details
Written By
PhD (Pharmacology) Pursuing, M.Pharma (Pharmacology), B.Pharma - Certificate in Nutrition and Child Care
Reviewed By
MBBS, Master in Healthcare Administration, Diploma in Occupational Health
General Physician
Table of Content
About Ivermectin
What are the uses of Ivermectin
What are the contraindications of Ivermectin ?
What are the side effects of Ivermectin ?
Key highlights of Ivermectin
What are the dosage instructions?
Where is the Ivermectin approved?
Medicines containing Ivermectin
How does this medication work?
What are the interactions of Ivermectin ?
FAQs about Ivermectin