Ivermectin not approved for COVID-19

Ivermectin is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat or prevent COVID-19. The FDA has issued a warning statement regarding the dangers of taking this drug in large doses or for unapproved uses. And it’s not safe for humans to take medications meant for animals. (Ivermectin prescribed for animals is very different from ivermectin prescribed for humans.)

Do not take any prescription drug, including ivermectin, unless your doctor recommends that you do so. If you have questions about the use of ivermectin to treat or prevent COVID-19, talk with your doctor.

If you’re looking at treatment options for certain parasitic infections, head lice, or rosacea, you may want to know more about ivermectin (Stromectol, Sklice, Soolantra). This includes information about cost.

Ivermectin is a generic medication that’s used in adults and some children. It comes in prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) forms.

Ivermectin comes in three different forms: a tablet that you swallow, a topical lotion, and a topical cream. (“Topical” means that you apply it to your skin.) Each form of ivermectin is approved for a different use:

  • Ivermectin tablets are used to treat certain parasitic infections in adults and some children. They’re only available with a prescription from a doctor.
  • Ivermectin lotion is used to treat head lice. It’s available OTC as the brand-name drug Sklice.
  • Ivermectin cream is used to treat rosacea, and it’s also prescription-only.

Ivermectin belongs to a group of drugs called antiparasitic drugs.

Keep reading for details on ivermectin and cost, as well as how to save money on prescriptions.

Note: For more details on ivermectin, see this in-depth article.

The price you pay for ivermectin can vary. Your cost may depend on your treatment plan, your insurance coverage, and the pharmacy you use.

To find out how expensive ivermectin will be for you, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.

Get answers to some frequently asked questions about the cost of ivermectin.

Can I buy ivermectin over the counter?

Ivermectin lotion (Sklice) can be purchased over the counter (OTC). OTC products are available in a drugstore without a prescription. In the past, people needed a prescription from a healthcare professional to get Sklice. But the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has now approved its use as an OTC medication.

Note that you should only apply the lotion form of ivermectin to your skin. You should not take it by mouth.

Other forms of ivermectin are available with a prescription. The prescription-only forms of ivermectin are approved to treat certain conditions. These include:

Ivermectin isn’t FDA-approved to treat or prevent COVID-19.

How much is ivermectin for humans? Is it more expensive than ivermectin for animals?

Ivermectin for humans isn’t interchangeable with ivermectin for animals. Veterinary medications come in forms and dosages that are approved for use in animals only.

The cost of ivermectin that you’ll pay depends on your treatment plan, your insurance coverage, and which pharmacy you use. For more information about ivermectin’s cost, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Does the cost of ivermectin depend on which form I use (tablet, lotion, or cream)?

Yes, the price you’ll pay for ivermectin can vary depending on which form you use. For example, a lotion form of ivermectin (Sklice) is available OTC. Most insurance plans won’t cover OTC products.

Ivermectin tablets are typically the least expensive form of the drug when you look at cost per unit. The tablets are approved to treat parasitic infections, such as roundworm infection, in adults and some children. They’re only available with a prescription from your doctor. Your doctor can give you more information about whether ivermectin tablets, lotion, or cream may be helpful for your condition.

How much does a 3-mg dose of ivermectin cost compared with a 12-mg dose of the drug?

Your doctor will determine your dosage of ivermectin tablets based on your body weight. The cost of a lower dose may be slightly lower than the cost of a higher dose of the drug.

A doctor may prescribe a 12-milligram (mg) dose of ivermectin to treat a body lice or scabies infection. But this is considered an off-label use of the drug. (Off-label use is when a drug is used for a reason other than its FDA-approved uses.)

If you have questions about the cost of your ivermectin dosage, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Ivermectin is a generic drug that’s also available as the brand-name drugs Stromectol, Sklice, and Soolantra.

A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. The generic is considered to be just as safe and effective as the original drug. And generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.

To find out how the costs of Stromectol, Sklice, Soolantra, and ivermectin compare, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.

If your doctor has prescribed ivermectin and you’re interested in using Stromectol, Sklice, or Soolantra instead, talk with your doctor. They may have a preference for one version or the other. In addition, you’ll need to check with your insurance provider. This is because it may only cover one drug or the other. And it may not cover the over-the-counter form of the drug.

If you need help covering the cost of ivermectin or understanding your insurance, check out these websites:

On these sites, you can find insurance information, details on drug assistance programs, and links to savings cards and other services.

If you have questions about how you can pay for ivermectin, you may also want to talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

If you still have questions about the cost of ivermectin, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to give you a better idea of what you’ll pay for this drug. But if you have health insurance, you’ll need to talk with your insurance provider to learn the actual price you’ll pay for ivermectin.

Examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor or insurance provider include:

  • Should I trust a website that offers lower-cost ivermectin tablets?
  • Is there a less expensive medication than ivermectin that could treat my condition?
  • Will my dosage of ivermectin affect how much the drug costs?
  • What are my options if I can’t afford the medication?

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 another 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.