Ivermectin is a semisynthetic derivative of one of theÊavermectins, a group of macrocyclic lactones producedÊby Streptomyces avermitilis.ÊIt has a microfilaricidal action in onchocerciasis and reducesÊthe microfilarial load without the toxicity seenÊwith diethylcarbamazine. Ivermectin also has a microfilaricidalÊaction in lymphatic filariasis and is used inÊits management. Ivermectin is active in some otherÊworm infections. It is used in the treatment of strongyloidiasisÊand has been tried in some Mansonella infections.

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In the treatment of onchocerciasis, a single oral dose ofÊ3 to 12 mg of ivermectin, based roughly onÊ150 micrograms/kg for patients weighing more thanÊ15 kg and over 5 years of age, is given annually or everyÊ6 months. This schedule has been adopted for massÊtreatment in infected areas. No food should be takenÊfor 2 hours before or after the dose.

Ivermectin 200 micrograms/kg as a single dose, orÊdaily on two consecutive days, is used for the treatmentÊof strongyloidiasis.


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