Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, heated discussions erupted around the antiparasitic drug ivermectin. It was discovered back in 1975 and has become a valuable achievement in treating many infectious diseases. William Campbell and Satoshi Omura received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of ivermectin. Currently, in some countries of the world, ivermectin is used for the treatment of not only parasitic infestations but also for the treatment of viral diseases. A number of experts claim that it shows stunning results in the treatment of Covid-19 and even see it as an alternative to vaccination. But is ivermectin really effective in treating or preventing viral infections? People around the world began to take the drug to protect themselves from the virus because new studies have allegedly shown its effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2. It is also cheap, widely available, and has mild side effects.

Medical authorities in the US, Britain, and the EU claim there is insufficient evidence for the effectiveness of ivermectin for humans in treating Covid-19, but its advocates, including many ideological anti-vaccinationists, continue to defend their opinion. We will review several studies and try to clarify whether the widely discussed drug might be effective against Covid-19.

Ivermectin is a drug that can be taken orally or injected, it is used to treat parasitic infections caused by scabies and head lice. The drug can also be used to control some other types of parasites, such as heartworm infections.

Ivermectin is a type of medicine that humans can take to prevent parasites from breeding within the body. The medicine inhibits the production of the invertebrates’ reproductive hormones and disrupts their ability to move, making it difficult for them to mate, lay eggs, or produce offspring. It also kills parasitic larva before they mature into adult worms in the intestines or suck blood from your body.

Before using Ivermectin on yourself, you should talk with your doctor about what dosage is best for you and other possible risks associated with taking it.

Treatment usually takes about two weeks, after which the parasites should be dead or undetectable in your bloodstream or skin. You may need to take Ivermectin more than one time (if someone else in your household has an infection), and your doctor will tell you how long to wait between doses. Ivermectin is not addictive and will not harm you if taken for longer than recommended.

Traditionally, Ivermectin (trade name Ivomec) has been used to treat people with onchocerciasis. It’s a parasitic disease known as river blindness. People who have an infection from this disease can be treated with a single dose of Ivermectin.

Ivermectin for humans is given by injection into the thigh or back muscles three times a year for 3 years.

However, pills and suspensions are also available. The injections are more effective in humans of all ages.

Initially, the medication was prescribed for pets and animals only. At present, it is actively used for those who want to treat parasites in adults and kids.

Injections contain 150 to 400 micrograms of drug per milliliter of drug solution along with 2 mg/kg (100 mg) sodium chloride. Moxidectin is an alternative and has a similar spectrum of activity but is given orally.

Ivermectin should not be used in women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

What Are the Side Effects?

The most common side effects of Ivermectin are:

  • Rash;
  • Itching;
  • Non-serious allergic reactions.

Severe allergic reactions occur rarely. Ivermectin can also cause temporary eye problems such as blurred vision for a few hours (transient visual disturbances), and seeing bright colors, spots, or flashing lights (phosphenes). Ivermectin does not usually affect the heart or blood pressure, does not reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, and does not cause serious side effects in people with epilepsy.

Ivermectin may cause hypotension, and some people with heart disease have low blood pressure (hypotension) upon injection, but the consequences are usually mild and do not require treatment. The health of people with epilepsy is usually not affected by Ivermectin or other antimalarials.

Since Ivermectin is a drug that can be taken without a prescription, it may be kept in a medicine cabinet, though it should not be consumed by itself or mixed with any other medication. It can also be given to Companion animals in the same way as they do when they are given oral meds.

Ivermectin & Head Lice

Ivermectin is not used for head lice. It is only approved for people with cases of river blindness, onchocerciasis, and lymphatic filariasis. While Ivermectin has frequent side effects, it is a very good treatment for these diseases as it kills the parasite quickly and effectively.

In 2013, the FDA approved Ivermectin for use in humans to treat onchocerciasis (river blindness).

Original Studies

The first study that showed Ivermectin for humans to be helpful against the adult “Wuchereria bancrofti” worm was published in 1990. Since then, it is used as a drug to control and treat the disease onchocerciasis. In 2016, the FDA also approved Ivermectin for use in humans to treat lymphatic filariasis.

This is a serious parasitic disease with symptoms ranging from itching and rashes to rare, life-threatening complications such as inflammation of the heart or immune system. It affects mainly poor countries with poor sanitation and clean water supplies (like India), or areas like Afghanistan or Africa where there is heavy rain.

What Makes Ivermectin Dangerous?

A dangerous side effect of the drug is that it can cause death in humans. Ivermectin has been shown to cause death in people who are allergic or hypersensitive to it. The drug also acts as a neurotoxin which causes seizures for some people. It also affects mood and may cause confusion in children and adults with mental illnesses such as depression or schizophrenia.

Ivermectin also kills brain cells and interferes with the way the brain develops, which can lead to intellectual disability or disorders such as autism. It can also cause seizures in newborn babies and has neurological effects on adults as well.

Parasitic worms that infect humans like chickenpox and river blindness usually don’t carry Ivermectin. However, some parasites do carry it and they are known to infect people where Ivermectin is used. Ivermectin-resistant infections have been reported in Peru, Brazil, and Columbia.

There have been several deaths associated with Ivermectin use in cattle since the drug began to be used in this way.

PROs & CONs of Ivermectin for Humans

Ivermectin is one of the most common treatments for parasitic worm infections, including strongyloidiasis, ascariasis, elephantiasis, and loiasis.


  • Ivermectin has few side effects in humans, with stops many types of debilitating infections.
  • It can be taken by mouth or topically applied to the skin.


  • Patients may lose their ability to defend themselves against other infections due to the depletion of immune cells caused by taking this drug. It does not happen in animals because animal immune systems are different from human ones.

Ivermectin can be used to treat other parasitic infections such as:

  • Threadworm;
  • Ascariasis;
  • River blindness.

However, these diseases should be treated by qualified health care professionals because Ivermectin can have side effects in humans, such as headaches and nausea.

Ivermectin has the potential to cause serious side effects, such as loss of balance, muscle weakness, and seizures. Ivermectin is therefore not recommended for children under the age of five years or pregnant women.


Ivermectin is a medicine used to treat and prevent parasitic infections in humans and animals. It stops the growth of the larvae before they develop into adults and cause an infection. Ivermectin can be given both orally, through injection, or lotion because it can’t be absorbed through the skin. Besides, there are suspension options for kids who cannot swallow pills or are afraid of injections.

Ivermectin comes in oral and injectable forms. The injectable form is made by dissolving a liquid Ivermectin salt in water. This solution is then frozen and injected into the body of the patient. In other words, it needs to be administered via injection because oral administration wouldn’t be as effective without giving it time to dissolve.

The medicine works by inhibiting a parasite’s ability to make an enzyme called glutamate decarboxylase, thereby blocking them from forming into adults. It also stops the parasite from reproducing by killing off all of its eggs.

Some pills contain Ivermectin, but the medicine is not always effective when taken orally. The pills need to be dissolved in a drink or liquid and should be taken by mouth three times a day for two weeks. But it is much more effective when administered by injection.

Ivermectin Suspension

Ivermectin suspension comes in a variety of forms, including oral drops and syrup for children who may be unable to swallow tablets or capsules. This medication has been shown effective in treating onchocerciasis and river blindness when administered correctly. The following article discusses some common side effects that may occur when taking this medication as well as how long it takes before those side effects disappear.

How to Take Ivermectin? 8 Tips to Memorize

The following tips are suitable for most medications. If you’re planning to take Ivermectin pills and still not sure about how to do it, the following guide will help you out:

  1. Take it with food. Before you take your pill, chow down on a hearty meal filled with protein and carbohydrates. If you eat fifteen or twenty minutes before taking Ivermectin, the benefits of the food will “spread out” over a longer time frame and keep your stomach from rejecting the medicine.
  2. Let someone else drive. It means that if you can get a ride home from a friend or family member, ask him or her to keep another pill for you in case you forget to take it with you. Don’t forget to purchase a medication that can minimize any nausea or shaking if you are in the transport.
  3. Don’t take it at night. Any medication that can cause nausea and vomiting, like Ivermectin should be taken in the morning. Taking it before bedtime will cause you to throw up, which can be a terrible feeling, especially when you have nowhere to go and nothing to do but spend your time in misery.
  4. Take Ivermectin with water. Another old wives tale, but taking Ivermectin in water may help your stomach to accept the medicine. Yes, some people can swallow tablets and pills without liquid, but water is obligatory if you’re willing to get the effect.
  5. Don’t eat too much. There is a saying that to avoid a hangover, you have to not drink too much the night before. It is true when it comes time to take this pill. Too many carbohydrates can cause nausea or vomiting, and you don’t want to lose half of your stomach’s content the morning after taking Ivermectin.
  6. Don’t eat foods that are high in histamines. Foods like shellfish, tomatoes, and strawberries will often cause nausea after eating them. They are also high in histamine, which is the same chemical that Ivermectin kills in parasites. As you may already know, histamine is also responsible for allergies.
  7. Take it with a large glass of water. Since you are going to be drinking your water anyways, make sure it is a large glass. The more liquid you have in your stomach before taking this pill, the better chance there will be for it to stay down.
  8. Take it later in the day. It’s never a good time to take any medicine, but taking Ivermectin before you get too hungry can help your appetite from rejecting the pill.

Sum up

Ivermectin is a medication that was developed to kill parasitic worms and used for this particular purpose since the 1970s. It is available in both prescription and OTC forms to treat various types of parasites in humans, including scabies and head lice. Although Ivermectin can be highly effective in treating certain types of parasites, it may also have some serious side effects when taken by people. In extreme cases, these adverse reactions can be fatal.

To use Ivermectin to treat humans, a healthcare professional must closely monitor a patient during treatment and follow the dosage instructions closely. People who self-treat must ensure that they are taking the appropriate amount for their weight. Side effects may include increased heart rate and body temperature, vomiting, restlessness, and overall discomfort. The medication is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women or people with severe heart or liver conditions or who have recently had surgery.

Irrespective of the dosage, both children and adults who are taking Ivermectin for humans must never have alcohol or use any products that contain alcohol. It includes mouthwash, hand sanitizer, and perfumes. Doing so may cause serious medical issues and even death.

Alcohol is known to negatively interact with a variety of medications and can result in significant issues ranging from drowsiness to coma. Although it is typically safe to consume alcohol while taking this drug when prescribed by a doctor, people should never alter dosages on their own.

Encouraging early-stage research

In October 2020, Egyptian scientists from Benha University published a study on the efficacy and safety of ivermectin for the treatment and prevention of Covid-19. The study included 600 participants, among which 400 symptomatic patients had a confirmed diagnosis. Another 200 were in contact with infected people at home. Symptomatic patients included both those with severe cases and those who had mild to moderate symptoms.

All participants were divided into 6 groups of 100 participants each. The first group included people with mild to moderate forms of Covid-19. They took ivermectin for four days along with the standard set of medications (vitamins, antibiotics, and other drugs recommended during the treatment). Another group with mild to moderate symptoms also received standard treatment, but instead of ivermectin got hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug controversially touted as a cure for Covid-19. The third and fourth groups included people with severe disease who also received standard care and ivermectin/hydroxychloroquine, respectively. Participants from the fifth and sixth groups were in contact with the infected at home. Both groups used personal protective equipment, but the fifth group additionally received ivermectin.

The study has shown that in all groups where participants took ivermectin, patients recovered faster and died less (groups 1–4), and were also less likely infected through contact with patients (groups 5–6). The results were astonishing given the average age of participants (55–59 years). In mild/moderate cases, ivermectin groups showed 99% improvement with no deaths (in the hydroxychloroquine group, 74% improved and 4% died, respectively). In severe cases, the ivermectin group showed 94% improvement and 2% deaths, compared to the hydroxychloroquine group with 50% and 20%. Only 2% in ivermectin group 5 were infected after contact with patients at home, while 10% got Covid-19 in hydroxychloroquine group 6.

The low cost, availability, and safety of ivermectin are also noted by researchers who speak in favor of using the drug to control the pandemic. It has served mankind for forty years and is available all over the world. It can be found at a regular drugstore, clinic, or hospital, as well as purchased online at one of the trusted online pharmacies.

Should be used in the treatment and prevention

In November 2020, an international group of ten scientists led by Pierre Kory published a study on the efficacy of ivermectin in the prevention and treatment of Covid-19. The authors reached a consensus that ivermectin should be used in the treatment and prevention of the disease due to its strong anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. Scientists analyzed dozens of existing studies and concluded that the drug inhibits the replication of many viruses including SARS-CoV-2. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it prevents the development of a cytokine storm, an aggressive immune response of the body to a viral infection and drugs, which leads to systemic inflammation and disruption of the proper functioning of the immune system. The main danger of a cytokine storm in Covid-19 is an immune deficiency, as it facilitates the attachment of bacterial infections.

The inflammatory process and systemic tissue damage can lead to disruption of the internal organs and even death. According to the scientists’ findings, ivermectin also prevents infection through contact with others, accelerates recovery in patients with mild to moderate symptoms, and reduces mortality in hospitalized patients. Moreover, the medicine has no equals in terms of availability and safety. Referring to 94 studies, the authors argue that the use of ivermectin, along with masking, social distancing, hand hygiene, taking zinc, vitamin C, vitamin D, and other drugs that have been shown to be effective, can make a huge contribution to pandemic control.

In August 2021, British scientists published a study in which they analyzed 24 randomized controlled trials including a total of 3400 participants. They assessed the results and quality of the studies, the reliability of the findings, and the possibility of bias. According to their conclusion, there is moderate-certainty evidence that ivermectin is effective in the early stages of the disease, and can also reduce the number of deaths from Covid-19.

Effectiveness yet to be proven

Doctors around the world claim that the prevention and early treatment of Covid-19 with low-cost repurposed drugs could save thousands of lives. Ivermectin is one of such repurposed drugs. According to a number of experts, it prevents infection and replication of SARS-CoV-2 viruses, protects organs, speeds up recovery, and reduces mortality. However, organizations such as the WHO warns the public that the existing studies in favor of ivermectin usage were limited and had some drawbacks. Particularly, the FDA warns that it is dangerous to use drug formulations made for animals. Although human ivermectin does not have serious side effects at the correct dosage, the very sense of security can be a threat. Until there are more reliable and comprehensive studies on the effectiveness of ivermectin against the disease, it is highly recommended not to neglect other protection measures.

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