Ivermectin is a Nobel Prize-winning drug that is cheap and available around the world. This “wonder drug,” as many called it, was prescribed to treat illnesses, which include head lice, scabies, river blindness (onchocerciasis), strongyloidiasis, ascariasis, and lymphatic filariasis. When used as prescribed for approved indications, it is generally safe and well tolerated. Veterinarians also use it to prevent heartworm and treat parasitic infections in some animals. Recently, it has gained popularity as a possible treatment for COVID-19. Ivermectin (Stromectol) is available in Australia as a generic medication and may be significantly cheaper compared to the brand version.
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Fast Facts About Ivermectin
Common brands: Stromectol
Pharmaceutical form: Film-coated tablet
Dosage: 3 mg, 6 mg, 12 mg
Generic status: Lower-cost generic available
Drug class: Antiparasitic
Price: around $42 for ten generic 3 mg tablets
What is ivermectin?
Ivermectin, sold in tablet form and marketed as Stromectol by pharmaceutical company Merck, is a medication used in Australia as a treatment for parasitic infections such as onchocerciasis (river blindness), intestinal strongyloidiasis (roundworm) and scabies.
In cream form, ivermectin is sold under the name Soolantra and is used to treat the skin condition rosacea, while in other countries, such as the US, the drug is also used to treat head lice.
In animals, ivermectin is commonly used to treat parasites, according to the Australian Veterinary Association, which noted in a media release that ivermectin preparations for animals “are very different from those approved for human use”.
Interest in ivermectin has surged during this summer’s rapid rise in coronavirus infections fueled by the highly transmissible delta variant. While the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned against the general, unchecked use of Ivermectin, a study published in the American Journal of Therapeutics has said that regular use of the drug may significantly reduce the risk of contracting Covid-19. Tests in the laboratory show ivermectin can slow the reproduction of the COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) virus but such effects would need major doses in humans.
What is Ivermectin used for
Ivermectin is used to treat river blindness (onchocerciasis) and threadworm involving the intestines (intestinal strongyloidiasis). These are caused by worm infections. In onchocerciasis the worm infection mainly affects the skin, glands (lymph nodes) and eyes.
In the form of strongyloidiasis that is treated with Ivermectin, the worm infection mainly affects the intestines and skin. Symptoms which may occur include itchy rash, vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach pain.
Ivermectin is also used to treat scabies which is caused by the Sarcoptes scabiei mite. Infection with the scabies mite causes discomfort and often intense itching of the skin, particularly at night, with irritating blisters or lumps on the skin.
Mechanism of action
Ivermectin in a pill form is used to treat parasitic worms in humans. A topical form of the drug is used to treat head lice and skin conditions such as rosacea.Avermectins, including ivermectin, are broad-spectrum antiparasitic agents. They bind selectively and with high affinity to glutamate-gated chloride ion channels present in invertebrate nerve and muscle cells. This binding leads to an increase in the permeability of the cell membrane to chloride ions with hyperpolarization of the nerve or muscle cell, resulting in paralysis and death of the parasite.
This medicine usually makes you feel better quite quickly. However, you should continue taking it as long as it is prescribed even when you feel better, to make sure that all parasites are killed and do not become resistant.
How should this medicine be used?
The drug needs to be consumed with a glass of water on an empty stomach at least an hour before a meal. It is usually taken as a single dose or series of doses, as per the directions of the doctor.
The dosage depends on weight, medical condition, and response to treatment. If you are taking ivermectin to treat onchocerciasis, additional doses 3, 6, or 12 months later may be necessary to control your infection. Take ivermectin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Usual Adult Dose of Ivermectin for Onchocerciasis:
Dosage guidelines based on body weight
|15 to 25 kg||3 mg orally one time|
|26 to 44 kg||6 mg orally one time|
|45 to 64 kg||9 mg orally one time|
|65 to 84 kg||12 mg orally one time|
|85 kg or more||0.15 mg/kg orally one time|
Usual Adult Dose for Strongyloidiasis:
|15 to 24 kg||3 mg orally one time|
|25 to 35 kg||6 mg orally one time|
|36 to 50 kg||9 mg orally one time|
|51 to 65 kg||12 mg orally one time|
|66 to 79 kg||15 mg orally one time|
|80 kg or more||0.2 mg/kg orally one time|
If you are taking ivermectin to treat strongyloidiasis, you will need to have a stool exam at least three times during the first 3 months after your treatment to see if your infection has cleared. If your infection has not cleared, your doctor will probably prescribe additional doses of ivermectin.
Usual Adult Dose for Scabies:
0.2 mg/kg orally once, and repeated in 2 weeks
Ivermectin therapy may be combined with a topical scabicide.
A five-day course of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19
- oral ivermectin alone (12 mg once daily for 5 days),
- oral ivermectin in combination with doxycycline (12 mg ivermectin single dose and 200 mg doxycycline on day 1, followed by 100 mg every 12 h for the next 4 days)
Ivermectin triple therapy
Well-Respected Australian Researcher Professor Thomas Borody, who developed triple-therapy for Helicobacter pylori infection, has recommended that GPs prescribe a triple therapy protocol using ivermectin, doxycycline and zinc. However, some of his comments are being investigated by the TGA as they potentially breach the ban on advertising COVID-19 treatments.
Is ivermectin safe for human use?
Ivermectin is safe for human use when prescribed and dosed by a health-care professional to treat parasitic infections.
Dosage is based on the patient’s weight, medical conditions and response to the drug.
The form of the drug used on humans won the Nobel Prize, has improved the health of millions and helped to eradicate diseases like river blindness in multiple countries.
What is the difference between human and animal ivermectin?
Ivermectin for animals often comes in much higher concentrations than humans need or can safely tolerate, experts said. If you go on Amazon, you get a three-gram tube, which is 3,000 milligrams. A normal human dose might be 30 milligrams, so you could buy a hundred times the necessary human dose, which would lead to toxicity.
If you want to buy Ivermectin tablets for humans, you can order from online pharmacies. Our pharmacy offers ivermectin for humans in 3 mg, 6 mg and 12 mg tablets.
Where can I buy Ivermectin in Australia?
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How much does ivermectin cost in Australia?
Are you looking for a place to get your Stromectol (Ivermectin) medication at an affordable price? Ivermectin is available in Australian pharmacies in 3 mg, 6 mg and 12 mg tablets. Generic Stromectol 3 mg starts at $42 for 10 tablets, while the 12 mg dosage starts at $64 for 10 tablets.
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Pharmacologic Treatments for Covid
Remdesivir is currently the only medication approved by the FDA to treat coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Remdesivir is a nucleotide analog inhibitor of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRps). More specifically, evidence of broad-spectrum antiviral activities against coronaviruses has been shown in vitro and animal models. The preliminary report described the efficiency of remdesivir where 1,063 patients underwent randomization for remdesivir (538) or placebo (521). The data showed patients receiving remdesivir had a median recovery time of 11 days as compared to 15 days in those who received a placebo (95% CI, 1.12 to 1.55; P < 0.001).
Plaquenil (Hydroxychloroquine), the anti-malarial medication, has been described in the management of SARS-CoV-2 infection. It inhibits endocytic pathways through elevation of endosomal pH, altering enzyme production; however, the exact antiviral mechanism of action remains unclear. A significant benefit in the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 could not be established.
Azithromycin is an antibiotic commonly used to treat bacterial infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. It has been shown to have some in vitro activity against viruses like influenza A and Zika. One research group looked at azithromycin in combination with hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19. They reported that 93% of patients cleared the virus after 8 days, but there was no control group so we don’t know if people would have cleared the virus on their own without the medications.
Favipiravir is a drug initially developed to treat severe cases of influenza in Japan. There are now ongoing clinical trials for its potential as an antiviral for SARS-CoV-2. Favipiravir directly inhibits viral replication and transcription via potent selective inhibition of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP)]. Cai et al. studied the effects of favipiravir in an open-label study involving 80 patients. The study concluded that virus clearance was faster in the favipiravir arm (median: 4 days) compared to the control arm (median: 9 days) with P < 0.001. It also showed significant improvement in computerized tomography (CT) chest imaging when compared to control (91.43% vs 62.22%, P = 0.004) after adjustments for potential confounders.
Two studies in China looked at how favipiravir worked in comparison to other antivirals. In a study of 240 patients in China with mild COVID-19 symptoms, 71% of patients given favipiravir recovered after 7 days compared to 56% who were given umifenovir (Arbidol).
Study showed that olfactory and taste function significantly improved in patients with COVID-19. For all anosmia and dysgeusia cases who received fluticasone nasal spray and triamcinolone medications the recovery of smell senses and the taste was within a week.
Fluvoxamine is an antidepressant, and in the US, Canada and Australia it’s mostly prescribed for treating OCD. It is what is known as an SSRI, short for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor — the same class of drugs as popular antidepressants like Zoloft, Prozac, and Lexapro. In addition to its serotonin-modulating activity, it is a strong agonist of sigma-1 receptors in the endoplasmic reticulum. Sigma-1 agonism has been shown to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication and to modulate the inflammatory response to sepsis in animals; it could theoretically prevent development of life-threatening cytokine storm and acute respiratory distress syndrome in COVID-19.
Washington University’s Department of Psychiatry and Division of Infectious Diseases collaborated on the study and involved 152 patients infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. After 15 days, none of the 80 patients who had received fluvoxamine experienced serious clinical deterioration. Meanwhile, six of the 72 patients given placebo (8.3%) became seriously ill, with four requiring hospitalization.
The study was published online Nov. 12 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Fluvoxamine, a relatively safe oral drug that is available generically, has shown some promise in preventing clinical deterioration in patients with COVID-19, but conclusive data supporting its use are lacking. A large trial is underway.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking ivermectin?
You should not use ivermectin if you are allergic to it.
To make sure ivermectin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- liver or kidney disease; or
- cancer, HIV or AIDS, or other conditions that can weaken your immune system.
It is not known whether ivermectin will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
Ivermectin should not be given to a child who weighs less than 33 pounds (15 kg).
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:
- medications for anxiety
- mental illness or seizures
- muscle relaxants
- sleeping pills
This is not a complete list of all drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to ivermectin.
Some side effects that may be associated with ivermectin include:
- painful joints or muscles
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- skin rash or itch
- nausea, vomiting, stomach discomfort
- swelling of the face or the legs
- worsening asthma.
Some of these side effects are likely a reaction to the parasite (worm or mite) dying. The side effects are usually temporary.
Is Stromectol same as ivermectin?
Yes. Ivermectin is approved in Australia under the brand name Stromectol.
Do I need to take Ivermectin on a full or empty stomach?
When taking Ivermectin tablets please take the medication with or after your meal.
Is Ivermectin safe to take with Hydroxychloroquine?
For more information about the interaction of Ivermectin with hydroxychloroquine we recommend that you ask your own physician.
Where can i buy Ivermectin in Australia?
You can buy Ivermectin online or over the counter without a prescription only from registered and regulated online doctors like Discount Meds Australia.
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Can I buy ivermectin over the counter?
All forms of ivermectin for humans, including ivermectin tablets and ivermectin cream, are prescription medications in Australia.
Although, this only applies to physical pharmacies. Most online pharmacies will not check for a valid prescription when purchasing Ivermectin tablets.
Can I drink alcohol while taking ivermectin?
Using ethanol with ivermectin can increase the blood levels or add to the side effects of ivermectin.
Can I drink coffee with ivermectin?
Take Stromectol (ivermectin) on an empty stomach and with a full glass of water. You should drink lots of fluids and avoid caffeine when taking this medication.