Stromectol [Generic Ivermectin] is an anthelmintic; it is a semi-synthetic drug derived from avermectin, which is a broad-ranging anti-parasitic agent that is used in the treatment of such infections. Ivermectin possesses vermifugal [paralyzing] and vermicidal [killing] properties; it binds to the glutamate-gated chloride ion channels in the worms, increases the permeability of the cell membrane to chloride ions, leading to hyperpolarizaiton of the nerve or muscle cell, which results in stunning and ultimately destroying the parasites. Stromectol is used to treat infections caused by Roundworms such as Onchorcerciasis and Ascariasis, Strongyloidiasis caused by Threadworms, Trichuriasis caused by Whipworms, Enterobiasis caused by Pinworms, and other infections caused by Hookworms. It is also used to treat lice and sold off-label to treat scabies. This medicine does not readily cross the blood-brain barrier in humans.
Onchocerciasis, also called "River Blindness", is caused by the bite of infected blackflies, which thrive by rapidly flowing rivers. As these worms move around in the body, they cause skin rashes, severe itching, depigmentation, disfigurative skin diseases, and eye lesions that can bleed and ultimately cause blindness. Stromectol kills the developing worms; to get rid of the adult worms, additional doses may be required after an interval of 3, 6, or 12 months. When filariform larvae penetrate the skin, and travel to the small bowels, where they grow and multiply, they cause an infection in the intestines - Strongyloidiasis. If the parasites spread to the heart, urinary tract, or endocrine organs, they can cause meningitis or polymicrobial bacteremia, and prove to be fatal. This disease can affect anyone, but children are more prone to it. Stromectol [Ivermectin] kills the worms in the intestines. Ascariasis is caused [particularly in children] who consume food or liquids contaminated by the eggs of the parasitic roundworm, A. lumbricoides. This occurs in places where human feces are used as fertilizers. A rare development can lead to eosinophilic pneumonia if the roundworm eggs find their way to the lungs. Trichuriasis, a whipworm infection of the large intestines, is caused by the roundworm, T.trichiura. It is a common infection in children who are prone to getting it when they swallow soil that has been contaminated with the eggs or feces of the whipworms. The commonest worm infection, Enterobiasis, happens when children swallow the eggs of the pinworms. These may be present in the food or other contaminated items. As they mature in the colon and move to the child’s anal area, especially at night, these eggs cause intense itching. When the child scratches, the eggs can get under the child's fingernails and be transferred to anything he or she touches, as well as other family members.
How to use
The dose varies according to the infection, medical condition and weight, and has to be taken with water on an empty stomach. Take the dose as prescribed. Usually, a single dose of about 150mcg/kg of body weight has to be taken for Onchocerciasis; while for Strongyloidiasis, a dose of 200mcg/kg of body weight is given.
Most people who take this medicine do not suffer from serious side effects, but if you have an allergic reaction to this drug, or, if any of the following symptoms persist/worsen, or any other serious or unusual symptoms occur, contact your doctor at once:-
Dizziness, or even fainting;
Muscular, or joint pain;
Swelling of face/arms/hands/feet;
Tender or swollen lymph nodes;
Any complication of the eyes, including swelling/pain/redness in the eyes, swelling in the middle layer, or conjunctivitis;
Easy bruising, or bleeding;
Tender/swollen lymph nodes;
Worsening of asthma.
This medicine may interact with:-
Barbiturates such as, Butalbital or Phenobarbital;
Benzodiazepines like, Clonazepam, Diazepam, or Lorazepam;
If you suspect that you have overdosed on this medicine, immediately contact your poison control center or emergency room. US residents can call their US national poison hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Symptoms of overdose, amongst others, could include: seizures, rash, edema, nausea, severe vomiting/stomachache/diarrhea, loss of control over movements, a tingling sensation in the skin, transient cessation of breathing, or contact dermatitis.
Stromectol is contraindicated in patients who have a known sensitivity to any of its ingredients. Consult your physician or pharmacist for details.
This medicine is mostly taken once only. If you miss a dose, consult your treating doctor.
Prior to taking this medicine, inform the treating doctor if you have a brain condition that could alter the blood-brain barrier, such as swelling of the brain - meningitis, or seizures, or if you suffer from HIV.
Let your doctor know if you have recently lived in/traveled to west or central Africa, for if you have been exposed to certain parasites there such as Loa-loa or trypanosomiasis, it could interfere with Ivermectin treatment [though effect is supposed to be rare, if it occurs it can have a fatal effect on the brain].
Inform your doctor of your complete medical history, the ailments you have suffered from, any allergies you have and all the drugs [prescription and OTC], as well as nutritional supplements and herbal products you are taking, so that the doctor can rule out medicines that interact with Ivermectin.
Ivermectin can influence certain lab results, so whenever you go for any test, inform the doctor and lab technicians that you are taking Ivermectin.
Limit your intake of alcohol and alcoholic beverages.
Since this medicine may cause dizziness or drowsiness, those who drive, handle heavy machinery, or perform hazardous tasks, should stay fully alert.
Keep all your lab appointments: Stromectol might cause changes in the body metabolism, or the doctor may want to keep a tab on your progress, so go for all blood/stool tests as advised.
Pregnant women, or those planning to conceive, or nursing mothers, must consult their gynaecologist before taking this medicine.
If a patient presents severe symptoms of Onchocerciasis, the doctor might prescribe a corticosteroid to reduce the swelling caused by the worms, which has to be taken with Stromectol.
In HIV patients, repeated courses may be required to get rid of the problem.
Stromectol should not be taken without a doctor’s advice. If repeated doses are required, take them.
For children who have a parasitic infection, consult the pediatrician, as Ivermectin is not recommended for children below 5 [due to their less-developed blood-brain barrier], or those who weigh less than 15 kgs.
Do not begin, increase, decrease, or stop the dose on your own. Do not treat anyone on your own even if they have the same symptoms, for it could harm them.
The medicine should be stored at a temperature below 30oC, away from heat, light and dampness. Keep out of reach of children and pets.
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