The problem of helminthic invasions is quite relevant for many countries, including Australia. Ivermectin is an antiparasitic drug with a wide spectrum of action that effectively copes with many types of helminths.
Ivermectin was opened in 1975. After several years, Ivermectin has become a widely used drug in medicine due to its high efficiency. The drug is low-toxic, so it does not harm the human body, but herewith successfully kills worms.
Indications for Ivermectin use are the following parasitic diseases:
Ivermectin is supplied as oral white tablets by 3 mg in Australia. Each tablet has an engraving: “MSD” – on one side of the tablet, “32” – on the other. All tablets are packed in aluminum blisters and in cardboard boxes. Each box contains four tablets.
A pharmaceutical company Merck Sharp & Dohme owns the right to supply Ivermectin to the market of Australia. The drug has been supplied to the country’s retail pharmacies for over 15 years.
Ivermectin is a potent substance produced by the microorganisms Streptomyces avermitilis. The drug immediately begins its action after administration.
The antiparasitic drug stimulates release of the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitter and blocks transmission of nerve impulses. GABA causes paralysis of helminths due to which they lose the ability to eat fully that leads to their death.
Treatment of strongyloidiasis is difficult, since worms causing this disease must be completely destroyed unlike other helminthic infections.
Due to a small number of helminths in the body and irregular formation of the larvae, it is sometimes very difficult to make sure of their complete destruction. In Australia, Ivermectin is one of the most effective drugs for strongyloidiasis treatment (also known as anguillulosis).
This antiparasitic agent is absorbed in the body quickly enough. The maximum concentration of Ivermectin in the blood is reached in four hours after oral administration. Its half-life makes about 36 hours.
In acute and chronic course of the disease, a single dose of 200 μg / kg of body weight is prescribed orally taken for 1-2 days. Given the infectious cycle in which larvae turn into adult worms, antiparasitic therapy can be repeated after two weeks. Currently, calculation of Ivermectin dose for children is preferable to produce by growth rather than by weight. To do this, you can use a stadiometer.
For onchocerciasis treatment, Ivermectin can be used not only in adult Australians, but also in children aged 5 years and older. Studies have shown that safety profile of this antiparasitic agent in children 5 to 12 years old is similar to the safety profile observed in adults.
For treatment of the parasitic disease onchocerciasis, the therapeutic dose is Ivermectin 150 μg per kg of body weight as a single oral dose. Children with body weight of 15 to 25 kg are prescribed with one tablet, adolescents and adults with body weight of 45 to 84 kg are prescribed with 3-4 tablets as a single dose.
Use of Ivermectin for treatment of Sarcoptes scabiei / crusted scabies in immunocompromised people, including in the presence of HIV infection, is not recommended.
Typically, an Ivermectin dose for treatment of scabies is calculated based on the patient’s body weight, usually it is 200 μg per/ kg. Clinical studies have shown that a complete death of female mites causing scabies can be observed while using a single dose of the drug.
Despite this, a repeated dose is required because of lack of ovicidal effect after two weeks, when all larvae hatch out of eggs.
Recently, occurrence of sarcoptic mite resistance to Ivermectin has recently been confirmed experimentally in Australia. The reason is that patients with recurring crusted scabies were prescribed with multiple doses of the drug that led to development of resistance.
One can buy Ivermectin tablets under the trade name Stromectol in Australia. Herewith, at local pharmacies you can see Ivermectin in the form of 1% cream, which is supplied in plastic tube of 2 g, 15 g, 30 g, 45 g or 60 g.
However, Ivermectin cream, which is available in Australia under the brands Soolantra and Vastreka, has other indications for use. This cream is used to treat acne and spots caused by rosacea.