Ivermectin: the Miracle Drug with Unfortunate Side Effects

Ivermectin: the Miracle Drug with Unfortunate Side Effects

Ivermectin has been called the miracle drug of modern medicine due to its ability to quickly and efficiently kill off parasitic infections. It can be used to treat everything from head lice and scabies to elephantiasis and river blindness. One of the unfortunate side effects, however, can be ivermectin toxicity, which can lead to dizziness, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, or trouble breathing—especially in children under the age of five or adults over the age of 60. If you have these symptoms after taking ivermectin or any other prescription drug, call your doctor immediately.

How it works

Ivermectin is an antiparasitic medication that’s used to combat infections in humans, horses, and other animals. When ivermectin comes into contact with parasites, it effectively kills them by preventing certain enzymes from functioning properly.

The drug has also been shown to fight against several different illnesses that are spread via insects, including malaria and river blindness. Ivermectin also works well against many types of worms that can infect cattle—it’s estimated to save farmers hundreds of millions each year. In addition to being very effective, ivermectin is also relatively safe for humans. One study found that adverse reactions occur in only 1 out of every 25,000 people who take it. For most people, side effects are mild and include nausea or vomiting. However, some patients have reported serious reactions after taking ivermectin—including skin rashes and neurological problems like seizures or tremors.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much information available about these rare side effects because they aren’t common enough to be tracked as a group by most medical organizations. If you experience any unusual symptoms after taking ivermectin (or any other type of medication), speak with your doctor immediately so you can get treatment right away if necessary.


As an antiparasitic drug, ivermectin has several side effects, some that are very common and others that are rare. As is true for all medications, side effects may vary from patient to patient and those who experience them will have different reactions to them. All patients should consult their doctor before taking ivermectin to ensure it is safe for them. Note also that not all possible side effects are listed here; patients must speak with their physician if they experience any symptoms associated with ivermectin or its use. Some of these side effects are easily treatable but others can be life-threatening or even fatal when left untreated. In addition, several conditions make using ivermectin dangerous or simply unsuitable. The most common side effects include nausea, vomiting, itching, hives, and rashes as well as dizziness and blurred vision. It is also possible to experience seizures while taking ivermectin; however, these tend to occur only in patients who have already been diagnosed with epilepsy. A much more serious condition called Ivermectin Toxicity Syndrome (ITS) can occur in individuals who take excessive doses of ivermectin over a long period or do so on multiple occasions without allowing sufficient time between doses for their bodies to recover fully between uses.


In most cases, an ivermectin dosage of 200mcg per kilogram (of body weight) is enough to kill or expel hookworms and other parasites. For example, if you weigh 70kg (154 pounds), your doctor would prescribe a total dose of 140mg. To ensure that you don’t consume too much ivermectin, divide your prescribed dosage by how many days you need to take it. For example, if your prescription is 140mg per day for 14 days, divide 140 by 14 to get 10mcg. You should NOT take more than 10mcg each day or 40mcg per week. If you experience any side effects while taking ivermectin, stop taking it immediately and consult your doctor. If you forget to take your medication on time, skip that dose and continue as scheduled. Do not double up on doses.

A drug interaction may occur when you are taking certain medications along with ivermectin. Do not start or stop any medications without first consulting your doctor. This includes over-the-counter medications like pain relievers, cold remedies, diet pills, laxatives, and antacids. It also includes herbal supplements such as St John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum). Other drugs known to interact with ivermectin include rifampicin, rifabutin, and rifapentine; these antibiotics are used to treat tuberculosis (TB). Taking them along with ivermectin can cause serious heart problems in some people; therefore doctors advise against using both drugs together unless necessary.


Although ivermectin can effectively treat a variety of parasitic infestations, it does not work for every infection. It is effective against Onchocerca volvulus, which causes river blindness, and Louis spp., which causes elephantiasis. However, there are still no drugs that have been approved to treat infections by Toxoplasma gondii or helminths (worms), such as filarial nematodes and schistosomes. To achieve maximum efficacy in these cases, repeated treatments may be necessary. Furthermore, because ivermectin is so effective at killing parasites, some people believe that it should be used to eradicate entire populations of certain species. Unfortunately, such an approach could result in negative consequences for both humans and animals. For example, eliminating cattle ticks could also eliminate cattle from certain areas—and if all cows disappeared from an area then people would lose their livelihoods because they would no longer have access to milk or beef products. In addition, many species of parasites play important roles in ecosystems where they keep other species in check; if they were eliminated then those other species might flourish and cause problems for humans as well as animals.

Symptoms of an Overdose Section: Precautions

Ivermectin should not be taken if you have a serious medical condition that might affect your heart or brain, such as certain autoimmune diseases, epilepsy, depression, or an eating disorder. You should also avoid taking it if you’re pregnant. People who are allergic to ivermectin shouldn’t take it either. Using Ivermectin While Pregnant Section: Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Section: Studies on pregnant women have found no link between maternal use of ivermectin and birth defects. That said, animal studies suggest that using ivermectin during pregnancy could potentially cause problems for developing fetuses. It’s, therefore, best to avoid using it while pregnant unless necessary. If you do need to take it while pregnant, talk with your doctor about whether it’s safe for you and discuss any potential risks associated with doing so. The same goes for breastfeeding; although there haven’t been any reports of problems related to breastfeeding while taking ivermectin, there isn’t enough research available yet to determine whether or not there could be any effects in infants who were exposed in utero or via breast milk. Talk with your doctor before starting or stopping ivermectin while pregnant or breastfeeding. There is some evidence that suggests using ivermectin while breastfeeding could lead to low levels of avermectins (the active ingredient) in breast milk. However, these levels aren’t high enough to pose a concern for nursing babies, according to one study published in 2012 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood. Another study published in 2017 concluded that mothers can safely take ivermectin during pregnancy and lactation without risking their babies’ health or development.

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