Ivermectin is a medication recognized worldwide because of its effectiveness as an anthelmintic for both human and veterinary purposes. Developed by scientists William Campbell and Satoshi Omura in the 1969s, it has led to them winning a Nobel Prize for their work. Ivermectin tablet has prominent anti-parasitic properties for both external and internal parasites and been approved by the WHO and FDA for them. But the last few years since the starting of the SARS-COV-2 virus induced pandemic have been controversial regarding the medication and have put in a lot of public scrutiny. Ivermectin apart from its medical use and unique properties is not for use for everyone. Here are some reasons why you should and shouldn’t use Ivermectin.
5 reasons why should you take Ivermectin
For Parasitic Conditions like Onchocerciasis
Onchocerciasis or river blindness is a parasitic infection caused by the worm Onchocerca Volvulus. It is transmitted to humans through bites of infected firefly. It can create a variety of symptoms from severe itching to disfigurement of the body and even permanent blindness. Ivermectin works on the larvae of the bacteria and destroys them to prevent further spread of the disease.
Through its effect on the ion channels of the parasite, it effectively works on the Strongyloides Stercoralis, the bacteria resulting in Strongyloidiasis. Ivermectin has been approved by the FDA for treatment of the condition and is regarded as the best option. In a study conducted on 60 patients diagnosed with Strongyloidiasis, Ivermectin 150-200mcg/kg or Albendazole 400mg/day were administered in an open randomized manner. Efficacy and tolerance were evaluated on the 7th, 30th and 90th day. Ivermectin proved significantly better than Albendazole for treatment of the condition.
Effective against Multiple strains of Parasites causing Filariasis
In a study conducted to check the effectiveness of Ivermectin for Lymphatic filariasis, 17 studies were conducted from 13 countries throughout Asia and Africa. Results were evaluated from hospital based studies, laboratory studies, active surveillance and passive monitoring with mass treatment programs. Ivermectin showed promising results either when used on its own or when combined with other drugs for effective treatment purposes. Apart from Lymphatic filariasis, Ivermectin also showed promising results for treatment of Bancroftian filariasis.
For Resistant Lice species not responding to other treatment measures
Ivermectin apart from its oral combinations is also available as a lotion and cream for external parasitic conditions. Despite its controlled drug status, the lotion form of the drug is an exception available over the counters and especially effective for treatment of head lice. The problem of head lice has been considered an increasing serious one. And studies in countries worldwide have proved that apart from the lotion, oral Ivermectin is especially useful in cases of head lice not responding to other medications.
For cases for Blepharitis and Acne Rosacea
Ocular Demodicosis a mite infestation on eyelash. Caused by the Demodex parasite, it is characterized by symptoms like blepharitis, loss of eyelashes and sometimes serious complications like sight threatening keratitis and meibomian gland dysfunction. It is postulated that the parasite burrows deep into the meibomian glands and mechanically blocks its orifices to trigger granulomatous and inflammatory reactions. In these cases Ivermectin Cream 1% works efficiently against the parasite and brings the inflammation down. Used either on its own or in combination with other medications like Metronidazole, 96.6% improvement in conditions has been noticed within 15-30 days.
That said about the uses of Ivermectin, the contraindications of Ivermectin use cover a wider spectrum from conditions to situations affecting the ineligibility criteria.
5 Reasons why you shouldn’t you use Ivermectin
When it is for veterinary Purposes
A lot of casualties and deaths were reported during the pandemic when lack of other options made people start using veterinary Ivermectin for Covid positive cases. Apart from dose, even the concentration of Ivermectin for animals is much higher than in human being. For animals, Ivermectin is available as tablet, pour on, injectable, paste and even drench form. For human beings, it is available as lesser concentrations in tablet and topical form. Even the inactive ingredients found in the veterinary forms of the medication vary from those used in human ones. Using veterinary Ivermectin can lead to serious overdosing effects like confusion, ataxia, seizures and even death in persons.
For Unadvised Covid use
The FDA has not approved the use of Ivermectin for use in Covid cases. The only place Ivermectin can be used for Covid positive cases are in clinical trials. There was a lot of buzz regarding the effectiveness of Ivermectin for SARS virus especially when other options were not available. Ivermectin has been postulated by researchers as forming a protective shield around the virus and preventing its entry into the human body. Through its anthelmintic properties, it has even been seen to prevent the virus from multiplying and inhibit inflammatory reactions caused by it. But of the numerous trials conducted to research about its safety and efficacy, none of them have yielded any satisfactory results. Additionally, the dose of Ivermectin required for treatment in viral cases is much higher than the safe limits. Using it may work against the virus but leads to increased side-effects associated with the medication. It should not be used in COVID cases without medical advice or bought or sold for that purpose.
If you are Allergic to its use
Stromectol is the brand name of Ivermectin that contains Ivermectin as its active ingredient. Inactive ingredients consist of microcrystalline cellulose, pregelatinized starch, magnesium stearate, butylated hydroxyanisole anhydrous citric acid powder. You should not use Ivermectin if you are allergic to any of these ingredients or to the medication on a whole. Using Ivermectin when you are allergic to it can lead to serious complications like severe rashes, swelling of the tongue or face or even breathing issues. You should consult with your practitioner regarding your allergic conditions before use of the medication and refrain from using it should the need arise.
If you are Pregnant or Breastfeeding
Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus on using Ivermectin during pregnancy periods. But human trials on pregnant women using Ivermectin either inadvertently or purposefully have provided insufficient evidence as to the safety of the drug. In case of breastfeeding ladies, data though limited have suggested that Ivermectin is collected in the breast milk of lactating mothers. Through it, it is consumed by infants whose blood brain barrier cannot withstand the entry of the medication to the brain. As a result there is a high risk of Ivermectin induced toxicity and subsequent brain damage in them.
When you have some Specific Systemic Conditions that can worsen after its use
Ivermectin is metabolized by the liver and excreted through the kidneys. In case of liver and kidney disorders and kidneys it can accumulate leading to reduced metabolism and subsequently over effects symptoms. Systemic Ivermectin has been known to worsen bronchial asthma because of which it should not be used in asthmatic patients. Studies have shown that it can be used in cases of allergic asthma but there is insufficient evidence as if now to prove its safety in them.
Take home factor
Ivermectin has proved its worth as an anthelmintic and declared the first choice of medication in a number of parasitic conditions. Consumed either individually or on its own it has successfully worked against the parasite without any major adverse reactions or side-effects. But blindly using it in conditions in which its safety has not been established can lead to a number of adverse reactions. Care needs to be conducted regarding its judicious use in both humans and animals for the safety of either.