Health Guide

Ivermectin (By mouth)

Ivermectin (eye-ver-MEK-tin)

Treats infections caused by roundworms, threadworms, and other parasites. Belongs to a class of drugs called anthelmintics.

Brand Name(s):


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to ivermectin.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
  • It is best to take this medicine on an empty stomach with a full glass (8 ounces) of water.
  • Usually, you will need only one dose of the medicine to treat your infection.
  • However, patients with immune system disorders, such as those with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, may need to use a dose every 2 weeks for several weeks to treat the infection. Some patients may need to use the medicine every month to keep the infection from coming back.

If a dose is missed:

  • You must use this medicine on a fixed schedule. Call your doctor or pharmacist if you miss a dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Tell your doctor if you are being treated for an intestinal infection from threadworms. You will need to have your bowel movements tested to make sure that the infection is gone. It is very important that you have these tests done as often as your doctor orders.
  • If you are being treated for river blindness (onchocerciasis), you may need retreatment and surgery to kill the adult parasite. You will need to see your doctor for follow up care.
  • Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Eye or eyelid irritation, pain, redness, or swelling.
  • Fainting.
  • Fever.
  • Joint pain.
  • Severe itching, rash, or hives.
  • Swelling or tenderness under your arms, in your neck, or around your groin.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain.
  • Dizziness.
  • Mild rash or itching.
  • Tiredness or weakness.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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