This medication is used to treat certain parasitic roundworm infections. Curing parasitic infections helps to improve your quality of life. In people with weakened defense (immune) systems, curing roundworm infections can reduce the risk of developing a severe or life-threatening infection. Ivermectin belongs to a class of drugs known as antihelmintics. It works by paralyzing and killing parasites.
OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This drug may also be used to treat other parasitic infections, including lice and scabies.
Take this medication by mouth with a full glass of water (8 ounces or 240 milliliters) on an empty stomach at least 1 hour before a meal. Ivermectin is usually taken as a single dose or series of doses, or as directed by your doctor.
Dosage is based on your weight, medical condition, and response to treatment.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Headache, dizziness, muscle pain, nausea, or diarrhea may occur. If you are being treated for "river blindness" (onchocerciasis), you may experience reactions to the dying parasites during the first 4 days of treatment, including joint pain, tender/swollen lymph nodes, eye swelling/redness/pain, weakness, vision changes, itching, rash, and fever. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
To reduce dizziness upon standing, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: neck/back pain, swelling face/arms/hands/feet, chest pain, fast heartbeat, confusion, seizures, loss of consciousness.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking ivermectin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver problems.
If you have traveled or lived in West or Central Africa, you may be infected with certain parasites (such as Loa loa, African trypanosomiasis) that could cause problems with ivermectin treatment. These effects could rarely result in serious (possibly fatal) effects on the brain (such as encephalopathy). Consult your doctor for more information.
This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
If you have a weakened immune system (such as due to HIV infection), you may need repeat treatments with this medicine. Talk to your doctor for more details.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Ivermectin passes into breast milk. Though there have been no reports of harm to nursing infants, consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
The effects of some drugs can change if you take other drugs or herbal products at the same time. This can increase your risk for serious side effects or may cause your medications not to work correctly. These drug interactions are possible, but do not always occur. Your doctor or pharmacist can often prevent or manage interactions by changing how you use your medications or by close monitoring.
To help your doctor or pharmacist give you the best care, be sure to tell your doctor or pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) before starting treatment with this product. While using this product, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any other medicines you are using without your doctor's approval.
Some of the products that may interact with this drug include: barbiturates (such as phenobarbital, butalbital), benzodiazepines (such as clonazepam, diazepam, lorazepam), sodium oxybate (GHB), valproic acid.
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use. Share this list with your doctor and pharmacist to lessen your risk for serious medication problems.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: numbness, tingling, trouble breathing, loss of coordination, seizures.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as stool exams for intestinal parasites) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. If you are being treated for "river blindness," you may need more medical examinations and repeated treatment because ivermectin does not kill adult Onchocerca worms. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature below 86 degrees F (30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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