Volume 41, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Ivermectin is a macrocyclic lactone that has widespread antiparasitic activity. Numerous clinical trials have shown that ivermectin is safe and effective in the treatment of human infection with . Although it is rapidly microfilaricidal, it does not cause a severe reaction, as is seen with diethylcarbamazine treatment. The drug temporarily interrupts production of microfilaria but has no known long-lasting effects on the adult worms. In patients with onchocerciasis, a single oral dose of ivermectin (150 µg/kg) repeated once a year leads to a marked reduction in skin microfilaria counts and ocular involvement. At this dose, ivermectin causes minimal side effects and is sufficiently free of severe reactions to be used on a mass scale. It promises to revolutionize the treatment of onchocerciasis.


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