Ivermectin | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses & More
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Generic Name:

ivermectin, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Stromectol
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for ivermectin

Oral tablet
1

This drug comes in a tablet you take by mouth. It’s also available as a cream and lotion you apply to your skin, but these forms treat other health issues.

2

Ivermectin oral tablet is used to treat parasitic infections of your intestinal tract, skin, and eyes.

3

Ivermectin oral tablet is available as the brand-name drug Stromectol. It’s also available as a generic drug.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Skin problems

This drug may cause skin reactions. These may be due to allergic and inflammatory reactions. The symptoms of these skin problems may look like the symptoms of your parasitic infection. Talk to your doctor if you have any severe itching, rash, or hives.

Eye problems

This drug may cause eye reactions. These may be due to allergic and inflammatory reactions. The symptoms of these eye issues may look like the symptoms of your parasitic infection. Talk to your doctor if you have any issues with your eyes such as redness, pain, swelling, and vision changes.

What is ivermectin?

vermectin is a prescription drug. It’s available as an oral tablet, topical cream, and topical lotion.

The oral tablet form of this drug is available as a brand-name drug called Stromectol. It’s also available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name version.

Why it's used

This drug is used to treat parasite infections. These include parasitic infections of your intestinal tract, skin, and eyes.

How it works

Ivermectin belongs to a class of drugs called anti-parasitic drugs.

See Details

How it works

Ivermectin belongs to a class of drugs called anti-parasitic drugs. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

This drug works by binding to parts inside the parasite. It eventually paralyzes and kills off the parasite, or it stops adult parasites from making larvae for a while. This treats your infection.

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SECTION 2 of 5

ivermectin Side Effects

Oral tablet

More common side effects

The more common side effects of this drug when it’s used to treat intestinal infections include:

  • tiredness

  • loss of energy

  • stomach pain

  • loss of appetite

  • nausea

  • vomiting

  • diarrhea

  • dizziness

  • sleepiness or drowsiness

  • itchiness

More common side effects

The more common side effects of this drug when it’s used to treat skin and eye infections include:

  • joint pain and swelling

  • swollen and tender lymph nodes

  • itching

  • rash

  • fever

  • eye problems

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Pain in your neck and back

  • Serious eye problems. Symptoms can include:

    • redness
    • bleeding
    • swelling
    • pain
    • loss of vision
  • Shortness of breath

  • Inability to control urination

  • Inablility to control bowel movements

  • Trouble standing or walking

  • Confusion

  • Extreme tiredness

  • Extreme drowsiness

  • Seizures

  • Coma

  • Low blood pressure, especially when you get up from a lying or sitting position. Symptoms can include:

    • lightheadedness
    • dizziness
    • fainting
  • Severe skin reactions. Symptoms can include:

    • severe rash
    • redness
    • blistering skin
    • peeling skin
  • Liver damage. Symptoms can include:

    • tiredness
    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • loss of appetite
    • pain on the right side of your stomach
    • dark urine
    • yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
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ivermectin May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Ivermectin can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you take. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Interactions that increase the risk of side effects

Increased side effects from other drugs

  • Warfarin
    • When used with ivermectin, warfarin can thin your blood too much and cause dangerous bleeding. Your doctor will monitor your international normalized ratio (INR) if you need to take these drugs together.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Drug warnings
asthma warning
People with asthma

This drug may make your asthma worse. Ask your doctor if this drug is safe for you.

liver problem warning
People with liver problems

If you have liver problems or a history of liver issues, this drug may cause more harm to your liver. Also, you may not be able to process this drug well. This may increase the levels of the drug in your body and cause more side effects. Ask your doctor if this drug is safe for you.

seizure warning
People with seizures

This drug may also cause seizures. Ask your doctor if this drug is safe for you.

hiv warning
People with HIV

If you have HIV or a condition where your immune system doesn’t work as well as it should, one dose of this drug may not be enough to treat your parasitic infection. You may need several treatments with this drug.

pregnancy warning
Pregnant women

Ivermectin is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. This drug should only be used if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the pregnancy.

breast feeding warning
Women who are breast-feeding

Ivermectin passes into breast milk and may cause side effects in a child who is breastfed. Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.

senior warning
For seniors

The liver of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more this drug can stay in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

childrens warning
For children

It hasn’t been established if this drug is safe and effective in children who weigh less than 15 kg (33 lbs.).

call the doctor
When to call the doctor

Call your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking this drug.

allergy warning
Allergies

Ivermectin can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • skin rash

If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

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How to Take ivermectin (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

The dosage information below is for the conditions that this drug is most often prescribed to treat. This list may not contain all conditions that your doctor can prescribe this drug for. If you have questions about your prescription, talk with your doctor.

What are you taking this medication for?

Parasite infection in the intestinal tract

Generic: ivermectin

Form: oral tablet
Strength: 3 mg

Brand: Stromectol

Form: oral tablet
Strength: 3 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)
  • The typical dose is 200 mcg/kg of body weight taken as one dose.
  • Take your dose on an empty stomach with water.
  • Most people won’t need more than one dose.
Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

It has not been confirmed that this drug is safe and effective for use in people who weigh less than 15 kg (33 pounds).

For children who weigh 15 kg or more:

  • The typical dose is 200 mcg/kg of body weight taken as one dose.
  • Children should take this medication on an empty stomach with water.
  • Most people won’t need more than one dose.
Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

An older adult’s liver may not work as well as it used to. This can cause the body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of this drug can stay in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

Parasite infection in skin or eyes

Generic: ivermectin

Form: oral tablet
Strength: 3 mg

Brand: Stromectol

Form: oral tablet
Strength: 3 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)
  • The typical dose is 150 mcg/kg of body weight taken as one dose.
  • Take your dose on an empty stomach with water.
  • You’ll likely need follow-up care from your doctor and additional rounds of treatment with this drug.
  • Your doctor will decide when you’ll receive your next dose of ivermectin. You may be treated again in as few as three months.
Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

It has not been confirmed that this drug is safe and effective for use in people who weigh less than 15 kg (33 pounds).

For children who weigh 15 kg or more:

  • The typical dose is 150 mcg/kg of body weight taken as one dose.
  • Children should take this medication on an empty stomach with water. Your child will likely need follow-up care from their doctor and additional rounds of treatment with this drug.
  • Their doctor will decide when they will receive your next dose of ivermectin. They may be treated again in as few as three months.
Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

An older adult’s liver may not work as well as it used to. This can cause the body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of this drug can stay in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Ivermectin comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug suddenly or don’t take it at all

Your parasitic infection won’t be cured.

If you take too much

This is not likely since you’ll take this drug one time only, as a single dose. However, if you take too much or your dose is too high, you could have dangerous levels of drug in your body. Symptoms of an overdose of this drug can include:

  • skin rash or itching
  • swelling
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • weakness or loss of energy
  • nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • stomach pain
  • shortness of breath
  • tingling or a feeling of pins and needles
  • inability to control your body movements
  • seizures

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

How to tell if the drug is working

Your symptoms should improve. Your doctor will do tests to make sure this drug is working to treat your infection.

Ivermectin is used for short-term treatment.

Important considerations for taking this drug
not with food
You should take this drug on an empty stomach. Take it with a full glass of water
timing considerations
Take this drug at the time recommended by your doctor
can cut or crush
You can cut or crush the tablet
storage considerations
Store this drug carefully
See Details
medication is refillable
A prescription for this medication is refillable
See Details
travel considerations
Travel
See Details
clinical monitoring considerations
Clinical monitoring
See Details

Store this drug carefully

  • Store ivermectin at room temperature below 86°F (30°C).
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

A prescription for this medication is refillable

You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Clinical monitoring

You and your doctor should monitor certain health issues during your treatment. This can help make sure you stay safe while you take this drug. These issues include:

  • Stool exam. If you take this drug for intestinal parasite infections, your doctor will do follow-up stool checks to make sure you’re no longer infected with the parasite.
  • Skin and eye microfilariae counts. 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. Microfilariae are the young parasites that cause symptoms of the infection. If your microfilariae counts do not improve with treatment, your doctor may have you take another dose of this drug sooner.
  • Eye exams. 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 it is, your doctor may choose another drug or wait longer before giving you another dose.

Are there any alternatives?

Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

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How Much Does ivermectin Cost?

Oral tablet

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Lowest price for ivermectin

Walmart $10.98
Sams Club $10.98
Walgreens $13.52
These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for ivermectin on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for ivermectin on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on May 19, 2016

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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